THE tantalising potential for 2019-20 to be a truly special season for Callum Robinson and not just a good one is something not lost upon him.
The Sheffield United striker, to coin an overused phrase, is living the dream – both on the domestic and international front.
Playing his part in helping the Blades become one of the stories of the season in his first full crack at the top-flight has been enriching enough, but gloss could arrive next summer when he is part of the Republic of Ireland party for Euro 2020, all being well.
The boys in green have some hills to climb first, having been pitted into a play-off qualification semi-final against Slovakia, with either Bosnia and Herzegovina or Northern Ireland waiting in the final for the right to take part in next June’s jamboree.
That would represent a proud moment not just for Robinson, but his family, too, with thoughts likely to turn to his late grandmother, Anne Deighan.
Robinson sadly never knew her after her death in a car accident when his mother Clare was just nine years old – but recently dedicated his first Ireland goal in the recent friendly win against New Zealand to her.
Sometimes, going into the unknown, you don’t know how good you actually are.Callum Robinson
The Northampton-born player, preparing for tomorrow’s game at Wolves, said: “I dedicated it to my grandma. She passed away when my mum was nine, it meant a lot to my mum. My grandma is looking down on me and got me my chance to play for Ireland and goal.
“I was really happy with that and it meant a lot to me and my family and you could see a lot through my celebrations how happy I was. It has been a good couple of weeks. We were disappointed not to get through to the Euros, but I have another chance in March.”
On the prospect of extending his season, he added: “It would be unbelievable. As a kid, you always dreamt of playing in tournaments, and, hopefully, we can do it.
“We have an opportunity in March to do that. There’s one tough game; if we get through that, it is Bosnia or Northern Ireland. Fingers crossed, we can do it and that would be a dream come true. Northern Ireland would be carnage, it would be like a derby.
“Mick (McCarthy) has been really good. I have had ups and downs with him performance-wise and he has always stuck by me, and TC (assistant Terry Connor) as well.
“I have had a bit of both where I have played well for him and not played well. He has always kept faith with me and shown me what I can do and it is about keeping going to show it on a consistent basis.”
The summer arrival from Preston also retains that same level of trust from Blades chief Chris Wilder, someone he also cannot speak highly enough of.
Robinson has featured 11 times in the league, including eight starts and has positively embraced the big time with his team-mates, who have enhanced and lit up the Premier League season and are not just making up the numbers.
The 24-year-old added: “I think it has been a really good experience for me. I think I have had a huge amount of trust from the gaffer and played a lot of minutes and it has been all different experiences and I have been enjoying it with the boys and playing with some real good quality.
“It has been a good start for the club and me, personally.
“That is why the gaffer brought me in the summer as he knows my ability and what I bring to the team. I have just got to keep training hard and the lads are doing really well.
“It is all to do with training and the gaffer and staff seeing you training hard each day and trying to make yourself better and keeping your head down.
“I think, for me, my work-rate and understanding of the game and the way the lads play has improved. It has been an eye-opener and playing with some real top players has really helped me loads.
“Each day, I feel as if I am getting better technically as a player.”
The Blades head to the Black Country on the back of a head-turning six-match unbeaten run, which has incorporated fixtures against three of the division’s big guns in Arsenal, Spurs and Manchester United.
Not seeing their colours lowered on the road at league level in 19-20 is an even more laudable feat, with the Blades having emphatically shown that it should not be beyond their remit to purely to stay up.
They have plainly shown that they can achieve more. On targets, Robinson said: “I wouldn’t say we have changed targets. We keep going into each game wanting to do the best we can and keep winning and learning as a group.
“For the majority, we have not got much Premier League experience. Before each game, we are coming out more confident and thinking we can do really well in this league. More than staying up. That is the main objective, but we can do more.
“Against Man United, for 70 minutes, it wasn’t just about goals, we outplayed them and it was a really good thing to see. It is a results-based game, but nice to see. I think as the season has gone on, confidence has definitely been a key part to getting this run going.
“It started at the start of the season when in the first half, we were naive and, in the second, we came out. But now it is from the start of games that we are realising we are a really good team. The boys knew that anyway, but sometimes, going into the unknown, you don’t know how good you actually are.”