Football: TONGE OF PRAISE; Late strike earns Blades a point as party goes on.(Sport)
The Mirror (London, England); 4/24/2006
Byline: By AIDAN MAGEE
Luton 1 Sheff Utd 1
SEAN BEAN reckons Neil Warnock is the man to shake up the Premiership and make it interesting again.
The Hollywood star is a director at his beloved Bramall Lane and was ecstatic when the Blades secured their return to the top flight last week after dropping out in 1994.
He witnessed another round of celebrations here as 2,000 United fans packed into Kenilworth Road, many in fancy dress.
Michael Tonge's 89th-minute free-kick grabbed a point for Warnock's side after they fell behind to Ahmet Brkovic's 72ndminute strike.
Bean lived his dream by once starring as a Sheffield United player in the 1995 film When Saturday Comes. He also has a tattoo which reads: '100 per cent Blade'. Now he believes Warnock is the man to awaken the Premiership from its slumbers and deliver a short, sharp shock to the likes of Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez.
He said: "We've waited so long to get back up and I want us to enjoy it. It's been f**king brilliant!
"I've been a director for three years now and this season has been the highlight of the last 12 years since we came down from the Premiership.
"I reckon we will be all right next season and I think the gaffer knows where he needs to strengthen the squad.
"The Premiership can be a bit dull sometimes but I think Neil will shake it up a bit and maybe ruffle a few feathers. You need characters in football to make things interesting.
"I didn't get to many games last season because I was filming in the States, but I've seen a lot more this time, so I've timed it about right!
"I'm pleased we were able to go up automatically this season because experiences in previous years have been horrible."
But Warnock will need to perform radical surgery on his side in the close season.
He will surely have doubts as to whether Bruce Dyer and Ade Akinbiyi can cut it against Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United.
He has been given a pounds 10million transfer kitty and will look to pick up some players on a free.
The Blades would have lost at Luton had Rowan Vine converted his 54thminute penalty instead of blasting it over the bar.
Warnock said: "It wasn't a great game but it's been a long season. There were a lot of tired legs on the pitch and it was red hot out there.
"Naturally we didn't want to lose in front of our fans.
The lads are going to Spain for a few days' rest and I wouldn't want them to do that on the back of a loss."
Luton completed their home programme after an impressive first season back in the Championship.
Boss Mike Newell said: "The club has plans to build a new training ground. But I want to be spending money on new players, not training facilities."
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