Sheffield United: Jordan Stewart interview

By his own admittance Jordan Stewart has mellowed in the last seven years.

Not that it makes being out of the Sheffield United side any easier.

However, there'll be no banging down Kevin Blackwell's door from the 28-year-old who will merely wait his turn for the Blades.

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Stewart has experienced a stop-start first season at Bramall Lane following his switch from Derby County in the summer.

A pulled-calf muscle in November halted his progress just when the left-sided ace was establishing himself in the United first team and it has been a case of spells in and out of the team since.

Stewart was back in the first XI for the midweek loss at Peterborough United and now hopes a consistent run of starts can be earned in Blackwell's side.

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But, if not, there will be no angry confrontations with his manager, Stewart insisting hes a different personality to the youngster who first plied his trade in the Premier League with Leicester City.

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Assessing his feelings on occasions when he is left out of the side, Stewart said: "I wouldn't say it's unsettling but it's obviously frustrating because every player wants to play football.

"Maybe when I was 21 or 22 I would have been worse – I would have been banging on the gaffer's door and asking why I'm not playing.


"But the way I see it now is that the gaffer picks the team and you will get your opportunity. When it's my opportunity, it's my chance to try and shine, kind of thing.

"Banging on the door is not going to change the gaffer's mind. You've just got to wait.

"I've had a few injuries here and there, but it all depends on how the gaffer wants to play against certain teams

"Obviously I wish I could have played a few more games, but it's one of those ones – it's a team game.

"I've just got to bide my time and stuff and try and get back in the team.

"Obviously I played on Tuesday against Peterborough and it's up to me

to keep the shirt now."

United are Stewart's fifth club as a professional, the Birmingham-born ace beginning life at Leicester and switching to Watford following a brief loan spell at Bristol Rovers in between.

From there it was onwards to Derby County from where the left-back/left midfielder was recruited in the summer.

Stewart says he has readily adapted to life at Bramall Lane after signing a two-year deal, is currently renting a flat in Sheffield, and now only longing for more game time to perfect his settling further.

"I'm settling in, I've got my flat here, and I've enjoyed all my days I've been up here," he said. "I'm just waiting for my opportunity to work my way into the team so I can play more football."

While it is ultimately Blackwell who has so far denied Stewart a regular run in the team, the former England under-21 international is fully behind his boss at Bramall Lane.

The United chief received much criticism from angry Blades fans during the midweek loss at Peterborough, but Stewart is backing his manager to quickly turn matters around.

"It's one of them isn't it? All managers, when they don't get a couple

of good results, the media start to ask questions," he said.

"Then you get a little minority that start jumping on the bandwagon.

"I think there is enough quality here to turn the results around."

Should United manage that feat and book a place in the Championship top six, in Stewart they will possess a footballer who knows all about the highs and lows of the play-offs.

The versatile star was part of the Watford side that defeated Leeds 3-0 in the 2006 Championship play-off final and yearns for a repeat with the Blades.

"To get promoted in the play-offs, it doesn't get much better than that," beamed Stewart.

"To get back in the Premier League would be massive, playing against the best players in the world in the best league in the world."

Stewart also sees no reason whatsoever why that cannot be done, even if United can currently be backed at odds of 12-1 to get promoted.

"I think there's every chance," he said. "Obviously we have had a few blips in between but we have still managed to be in and amongst it.

"I think we've got a great chance.

"Obviously our home form is much better than our away form at the minute but if we can just balance the two out then I think we can look towards the play-offs.

"Then we can try and get into the Premier League, where everyone wants to play."

Right now any sort of play would satisfy Stewart, itching for a consistent run in the United first team and eager to get himself and his new club back in English football's top-flight.

It's all part of a long term plan for the Blades ace who hopes to end his career in the USA, the footballer aiming to purchase a house Stateside and end his playing days for David Beckham's employers, LA Galaxy.

Needless to say, of all players, sun-loving Stewart was less than impressed with this winter's big freeze and while spring may not have brought an abundance of Blades appearances thus far, at least temperatures are starting to rise.

But Stewart insists there is something of a permanent big freeze at United's Shirecliffe training ground!

"It's warmer temperature-wise, but where we have to train it's right on top of a flipping hill," he laughed.

"It's one of them where you come out of the house and it's not too bad and then you get to the training ground and it's gale-force winds!

"I still want to finish my career in America and finish out there kind of thing. That's the plan anyway!"