KV Oostende coach Alexander Blessin has admitted that he might have got the Sheffield United manager’s job before Slavisa Jokanovic if it wasn’t for Brexit, while speaking to Sport Voetbal Magazine.
Given that Jokanovic’s teams are famed for stumbling out of the traps before hitting their stride in the second half of the season, the former Fulham and Watford coach has been afforded plenty of patience by an expectant Blades fanbase despite a topsy-turvy start to the Championship campaign.
After 14 games, Sheffield United are closer to the relegation zone than they are the top of the table, winning just five of their 14 matches despite the eye-catching performances of twinkle-toed Wolves loanee Morgan Gibbs-White.
But if things had worked out differently – and had the UK public voted another way during a certain 2016 referendum – there may be a different face on the Bramall Lane touchline these days.
Why did Alexander Blessin not get the Blades job?
“If no club came forward that made me feel good, I didn’t have to leave here. The only team that interested me was Sheffield United, because English football fascinates me. Without Brexit, there was a chance that I would have taken that step,” explained 48-year-old Blessin.
Now, compared to the two-time Championship promotion winner that is Jokanovic, the German-born Blessin would have constituted a sizeable risk for a Sheffield United side back in the second tier after two seasons of top-flight football.
Blessin has only coached one team at senior level after all, even if his record at an unfancied KV Oostende outfit speaks for itself.
He led the side to fifth last term, a massive improvement on their 15th-place finish the year before.
A manager who graduated from the Red Bull school of coaching, former RB Leipzig youth boss Blessin is famed for his high-pressing, high-octane style of football, his Oostende side battering Onhaye 8-1 in the Belgian Cup in midweek.
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