Daniel Lafferty has insisted he is focusing on trying to win promotion with Sheffield United rather than his own future at Bramall Lane.
The defender, on loan from Burnley, has emerged as a pivotal figure in the team which enters today’s game against Charlton Athletic second in the table and unbeaten in its last 14 games.
Despite refusing to rule-out the possibility of joining Chris Wilder’s side permanently when his contract at Turf Moor expires, Lafferty said: “Genuinely, I’m not even looking that far ahead. I’m just taking it day by day, game by game and week by week. I’m only trying to control the controllables, not the uncontrollables.
“I’m enjoying my football, I’m enjoying being here in the week with the lads and everything else will take care of itself. The only thing I’m focusing on is trying to get us, this football club, up. Then we’ll see what happens after that.”
Although Wilder would be keen on signing Lafferty when he becomes a free agent at the end of the season, the Northern Ireland international confirmed he is unaware whether or not Burnley plan to offer him a new deal. But, following Ethan Ebanks-Landell’s recent admission that he wants to remain in South Yorkshire until the summer, Lafferty admitted: “One of the keys is the enjoyment. There’s a good mix of lads in the dressing room and we all get along. I think that’s been showing out on the pitch.
“But there’s also that balance between enjoyment and hard work. Don’t get me wrong, at some clubs, people are probably just happy to be there. We’re happy to be here but we also know what’s required, how hard we’ve got to work too.”
United face a huge test of their top two credentials at The Valley today. Charlton, who appointed Karl Robinson as their new manager on Thursday, enter the contest searching for a third straight win.
Lafferty, who hopes to be passed fit after being taken ill earlier this week, said: “Charlton, you’d have thought, will be a very different type of game to the last couple (against Shrewsbury and Bury). I don’t think they’ll go into it looking to take a point, they’ll have a go because they’ve hit some form and they’ll want to take all three. The same as we do.
“It’s a good time to be a Blades’ fan and a Blades’ player at the moment. We’ll be giving everything we can to make sure our own run continues.”
United also hope to welcome back Mark Duffy (calf) and Kieron Freeman (back) for a match which could see Lafferty go head to head with his Northern Ireland team mate Josh Magennis.
“I’ve not seen Josh for a while so, fingers crossed, I’ll be able to catch up with him afterwards,” Lafferty said. “He’s doing well at the moment, he got his move there and he’s been getting a good run. He’s a player we’ll have to look out for but we’ve got plenty of players they’ll have to look out for as well.”