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Ireland defender Egan nearly at full fitness but no update on Sheffield United future

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Ireland defender Egan nearly at full fitness but no update on Sheffield United future

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND international John Egan is “nearly back at full fitness” after his long-term Achilles injury, but his club future remains uncertain.

After six years at Sheffield United, the club captain’s contract expires this month. The Blades confirmed that Egan was in ongoing discussions last month in the wake of their relegation from the Premier League.

Manager Chris Wilder previously insisted they “won’t make an emotional signing” and it’s understood he has attracted interest from elsewhere, but Egan wasn’t in the position to shed any light on the situation this afternoon.

“I don’t have an update,” the Cork defender said. “I’m just focusing on being fully fit and fully ready for pre-season, that’s all I can focus on right now.”

Egan is back training, having been sidelined since September and undergoing surgery in October. He admits the season-ending injury was “hard to accept at the start,” but the recovery has gone well.

“The season probably finished a couple of weeks too soon for me, but I’m working really hard and I’m nearly back at full fitness now. My body feels good so I’m looking forward to pre-season.

“You miss it a lot when you’re not able to do it. That feeling of hunger and drive multiplies in your head every day you’re not on the pitch. I’m hungrier than ever and raring to go for the new season.”

Watching Sheffield United from afar was “very hard” as they conceded over 100 goals and dropped straight back to the Championship. Egan has also been absent from the Ireland set-up since the France and Netherlands double-header last September.

As the search for Stephen Kenny’s successor rumbles on, the 31-year-old says the managerial situation is out of the players’ control.

It was announced that the FAI had decided not to renew Kenny’s contract 210 days ago, with the Association missing deadlines and John O’Shea placed in interim charge.

“It’s out of a player’s hands,” Egan said. “Obviously players will put on the jersey no matter what and give 100%, here’s no point in thinking too much about things you can’t control. You just have to crack on and play to the best of your ability every time.

“As a player, you just focus on the next training session, the next game. We all know football – nothing really surprises you in football, there’s change all the time. As players with experience, you learn to just focus on what you can control.”

“John [O’Shea] has done really well coming in in the situation, all the feedback I’m getting is it’s been really good,” he added.

“I think when John O’Shea walks into a room, he demands instant respect with the career he has had. I’ve worked with John before as a coach, before he took over the manager’s job, he’s got a wealth of experience and you can tell the lads really enjoy playing for him.

“We’ve a very good squad, in my opinion. I think there’s a lot to be optimistic about for the future of Irish football.”

Irish footballer John Egan has teamed up with Pringles to offer Irish football fans the chance to score a dream getaway. Details on how to enter the competition are available on Pringles cans or for more information visit www.pringles.com/ie/promotions.  

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