Billy Sharp has “unfinished business” at Sheffield United, Chris Wilder has revealed.
Sharp scored for the fifth time in only three outings during the 2-1 victory over MK Dons as United, despite missing his fellow centre-forward Matt Done due to injury, stretched their unbeaten run in the league to 11 games.
Sharp, a lifelong United supporter, was handed the captaincy following Wilder’s appointment as manager five months ago and the 49-year-old said: “Billy has unfinished business here. He has played here, scored goals, but he wants a bit of success at the end of the season to go with his career. He still has a lot to offer and I really think he is grabbing (the opportunity) by the scruff of the neck. The way he has been off the pitch, and on it, using his experience and holding the ball up, has been outstanding.”
Now in his third spell with the club, Sharp scored 21 goals last season but was unable to prevent United finishing 11th in the table. They are now fourth, three points behind second-placed Bolton Wanderers, with a game in hand.
“You do hear bits and pieces, ‘Billy Sharp, oh he’s only interested in himself’,” Wilder continued. “Obviously, he’s interested in doing well individually, that’s what he has to do, but he is team player, a Sheffield United man, and as a manager I am absolutely delighted with what he has given to this football club.”
News that Done fractured his jaw against Bradford City seven days earlier could force United to bolster their attack when the transfer window reopens next year.
With Leon Clarke nursing an ankle problem, Wilder admitted Caolan Lavery’s return to fitness has been timely.
“Done not playing was a big blow for us,” he said. “Lavery coming on was a big plus, and he can be delighted with his appearance.
“We feel we have been a bit unlucky with injuries. But we have to get on with it, we can’t moan.”
“We will have to wait and see, but Matt is out for (the FA Cup) next week,” Wilder added. “Chesterfield is after that and hopefully we will have Leon back for that. He (Done) can’t have any physical contact, can’t head the ball. It’s disappointing for him because has put some right shifts in for us.”