Peterborough v Sheffield United: Adam Davies believes Blades can emulate promoted Barnsley

ADAM DAVIES knows plenty about a team slipping under the radar and getting into the play-offs via the back door.

Sheffield United’s recent arrival was part of a Barnsley side who gatecrashed League One’s top-six in 2015-16, a season which saw the Reds swap a potential relegation fight heading into the winter for a promotion tilt come the spring. It culminated in Wembley glory at the end of May.

It serves as a reminder that anything is still possible. Six years ago, Barnsley were 13th in the table, one place where the Blades currently reside.

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Davies, who has revealed his delight at linking up again with Paul Heckingbottom, who orchestrated Barnsley’s stunning surge in the second half of that aforesaid campaign, said: “We are right in the mix to push for the play-offs. It’s about consistency.

Adam Davies after signng for Sheffield United. Picture: Simon Bellis/SportimageAdam Davies after signng for Sheffield United. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Adam Davies after signng for Sheffield United. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

“If we win four of five on the spin, then we are right in the mix again. We came out of nowhere at Barnsley. We just quietly went about our business and then got in on the last day.

“Consistency is key in this league. If you can get that, then you soon shoot up the league. When the opportunity comes along, you just have to take it.”

The Wales international admits he had no hesitation in renewing acquaintances with Heckingbottom, with his straight-talking and honest approach earning the respect of his players during his time at Oakwell.

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While the stature of his new club also spoke for itself, his relationship with his former manager was an additional reason which ensured that his decision to leave Stoke was an easy one.

Alongside Heckingbottom, there are several members of United’s backroom staff who Davies knows well including lead strength and conditioning coach Nathan Winder and first-team performance analyst Alex Bailey.

Davies, who will compete for first-team duties with Wes Foderingham, added: “I think if you’ve had success with any manager, that’s a great start.

“I love the way Hecky works. When he stepped in, the way he dealt with that was fantastic.

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“We were really successful under him and did well (at Barnsley).

“There are no grey areas with Hecky. He has an arm around you when you need it and a kick up the backside when you need it too.

“I know Hecky well and he knows me. I know what he wants day in and day out and it will be easy to slot into the working day.

“I’m sure he’s changed a few of his views and I know the backroom staff as well.”

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