Chris Basham hopes Sheffield United can complete fairytale Premier League season with '10-game thriller'
Promoted club have defied all expectations on their return to the top flight and could move up to fifth if they win their game in hand
Chris Basham believes the Premier League season will finish but said it would be “heartbreaking” for Sheffield United if their best campaign in 45 years is curtailed.
The defender feels it is right that football is on the backburner because of the Covid-19 pandemic but hopes for a “10-game thriller” of an end to the season.
Basham has been an ever-present for the promoted Blades, who are currently seventh, but victory in their game in hand, against Aston Villa, would put them fifth as a side who were in the Championship 12 months ago could yet qualify for the Champions League.
“The manager wants the season to end and so do the players,” Basham said. “My gut feeling is that it will. If all the hard work we’ve put in, all the emotion, all the goals that we’ve set all get put to bed, that would be heartbreaking. But obviously there’s a pandemic at the moment.
“The Premier League came out the other day and said the season will be finished and that gave me a lot of hope. But you never know in these hard times if it will happen or not.
“I’m not really sure how it would work if the season gets null and void, who gets relegated, who stays up, who gets promoted and I just don’t think it would be fair. Hopefully, the season kick offs in a 10-game thriller. It will be entertaining, that’s for sure.”
United had also reached the FA Cup quarter-finals but instead of facing Arsenal on Sunday, Basham is adjusting to life at home and, beyond offering help to neighbours, said he and his wife have been self-isolating.
“We’re just kind of shutting ourselves out from the world, and this is the first time I’ve spoken to anybody on the phone,” he said during a Skype interview. “I’ve told my mum to stay at home and if she needs help to let me know. Family is the most important thing, football has taken a step back and in these moments you realise how much family means.”
United have sent exercise bikes and weights to their players’ houses and Basham outlined his new routine, explaining: “We’ve got to get on the bike before we have breakfast. The fitness coach has sent us meal plans that we try to stick to when we get the right ingredients.
“Get up in the morning, don’t have breakfast, get the heart rate belt on, get on the bike for 30 minutes of interval training, which is specific for the group and then have some breakfast. In the afternoon, we have some running sessions, which you can either do outside or on the bike again and then weights in the evening.”
United’s squad have been in regular communication. Captain Billy Sharp has offered entertainment by demonstrating his finishing with a scissor kick to score with a toilet roll in the goal in his garden, but he has also provided more practical advice.
“It’s tough for the foreign lads as well because they can’t go home and they’re in Sheffield by themselves," Basham said. "Billy has been putting things into the group like if you need any fresh meat, he’s putting the local butchers’ details in and the details of those who can help out around the doors as well. Also, helping out with where to shop. It’s good to see the local lads and the lads who live in Sheffield helping. We’re trying to keep the morale going and we’re doing the best we can.”
Defender Enda Stevens has also made a donation to League of Ireland clubs who have been affected by coronavirus.
Updated: March 26, 2020 08:37 AM