Billy Sharp says Sheffield United's players couldn't complain if whole team is changed for Chelsea FA Cup game

Billy Sharp, the Sheffield United captain, admits that there would be “no complaints” amongst his teammates if Paul Heckingbottom changed the entire team for this weekend’s FA Cup quarter-final at Chelsea, after the ”embarrassing” 5-0 capitulation at Leicester at the weekend.

By Danny Hall
Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 6:00 am

United, still reeling from the departure of their talismanic manager Chris Wilder on the eve of the game, did not lay a glove on Leicester, who went through the gears in the second half to romp to a 5-0 victory and cap a miserable few days for the Blades.

Sharp admitted afterwards that there were “no excuses” for their “embarrassing” and “totally unacceptable” performance, and interim boss Paul Heckingbottom has a big task ahead of him as he looks to pick up his shellshocked players ahead of the trip to Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea on Sunday.

United could salvage some positives from a season that will end in relegation by progressing further in the FA Cup, but Sharp expects there to be wholesale changes at Stamford Bridge.

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“I’m sure there will be,” he said, “because the 12 or 13 out there – taking Iliman [Ndiaye, who made his debut off the bench] weren’t good enough. The whole team could be changed and there wouldn’t be any complaints.

“Whoever plays at the minute isn’t good enough. This season, we’ve become really poor and it needs sorting. We need to get together and find something for the fans, because I feel for them at the minute.

“We’ve lost far too many games this season, we’re going to get relegated and we need to find something to give us some momentum for next season.

Sheffield United's Billy Sharp reacts at the end of the 5-0 defeat Leicester City. (Alex Pantling/Pool via AP)

“Next week is the cup, it’s a different competition and hopefully, we can give a better performance than [at Leicester]. When we concede, we look a completely different team.

“I thought we were okay at 0-0, but the way we play when we go 1-0 down is not like us.

“It’s what we’ve become, and it’s totally unacceptable.”

United’s Rhian Brewster and Aaron Ramsdale, meanwhile, have been named in the England U21 squad for their European Championship finals.

Aidy Boothroyd’s men face Croatia, Portugal and Switzerland in their group stage this month, with the top two nations progressing to the knockout stage this summer.