Rhian Brewster 'will not wish the season away' at Sheffield United

SHEFFIELD UNITED caretaker-manager Paul Heckingbottom has stressed that club record £23.5m signing Rhian Brewster is working harder than even in his quest to salvage something from a fraught first season at Bramall Lane.

GAME TIME: Sheffield United's Rhian Brewster comes on for Oliver Norwood in the club's FA Cup tie at Chelsea in March. Picture: John Walton/PA

Brewster is yet to find the net since arriving at the club from Liverpool and was taken off at half-time after struggling to get involved in Sunday’s Premier League loss at Tottenham Hotspur.

Four games remain in a forgettable campaign for Brewster and the relegated Blades and while there may be a temptation to take the 21-year-old striker out of the firing line, the psychological fillip of Brewster scoring a goal or two in the club’s remaining fixtures is something that cannot be downplayed either, according to Heckingbottom.

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The interim-boss, preparing for Saturday’s home game with Crystal Palace, said: “It has been difficult for him.

“He's been working hard with us and with the group - he’s had a run of three games now and is probably working harder than he has done before and it has coincided with Ramadan as well as he is trying to manage his body through an intense period.

“That has been a good education for him, which will stand him in good stead for next season and the season after.

“We can't shy away from how hard he has got to work and the challenges that are presented in front of him right now and how hard it is and we will support and keep pushing him.

“I have tried to get to know him and he is a bubbly and lively character and from my point of view, we have been speaking about not shying away from the situation and where you are and not wishing your season away to be over and just to start afresh.

“I am trying to get the most out (for him) in these remaining games at this level because this is the level everyone wants to play at and we have seen what kind of league we are in with the Champions League semi-finals the other day and the Europa League.

“We are in the toughest league in the world and the standards are so high. You don’t want to be in any other league."

The one positive from Sunday’s heavy 4-0 reverse at Spurs was the return of Sander Berge and Chris Basham from injury and Heckingbottom believes that the game time will have significantly boosted the influential duo.

He added: “They will benefit from it and they might have been more minutes than we planned or envisaged them having. Bash was thrown in because of circumstances and things like that, but in the long run, they will have benefited from it.”