Chris O’Grady has vowed to sweat blood for Sheffield United, writes James Shield.
And the centre-forward last night indicated that he hopes to extend his stay with Nigel Clough’s side after admitting it would be “special” to help the League One club win promotion.
O’Grady, who arrived on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion five days ago, told The Star: “I’ll put my body on the line because that’s what you have to do. That’s what the fans want.
“I think if you ask the supporters of all the clubs I’ve been at in Yorkshire, they’ll hopefully tell you that’s how I approach my work. I’ll do whatever it takes to try and win and always give my absolute all.
“It’s important that you play like the people who come to watch want you. Go out there with the same determination they’d show for their team if they were on the pitch.”
O’Grady, who is expected to make his United debut against MK Dons tonight, represented Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham and Barnsley before moving to The AMEX Stadium during the close season. Despite failing to keep the 28-year-old out of Albion’s clutches, Clough finally secured his services on a short-term basis last week.
Citing the former England international’s presence as a major factor behind his return to South Yorkshire, O’Grady continued: “I feel highly regarded here and I hope to repay the manager’s faith. Generally, I’ve always played my best football for people who really put their trust in me and that’s what he has done.
“It’s nice to be viewed like that rather than just someone who ticks boxes.”
“Sheffield is a special place to play football,” O’Grady added. “I’m quite proud of the fact that I’ll have played for both (United and Wednesday) and the same goes for Barnsley and the others in the region too.
“We’ll see what happens in the future but it would be special as well to try and help United get promoted out of a division they shouldn’t really be in.”
O’Grady’s temporary contract with United is scheduled to expire next month but, after making only eight starts since heading to Sussex, talks aimed at renewing that arrangement could begin shortly.
A member of the Wednesday squad which pipped United to automatic promotion in 2012, he said: “To get out you’ve got to be consistent and know how to win matches when things get ugly or aren’t necessarily going your way.
“My family have come back up and they’re settled here. The same goes for me too which is great because that really helps as well.”