Billy Sharp wants to impress new boss Slavisa Jokanovic and fire Sheffield United to promotion after injury and relegation despair

Billy Sharp, the Sheffield United skipper, has set his sights on impressing new manager Slavisa Jokanović in pre-season training after revealing he is approaching full fitness after going under the knife at the end of last season.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 2:12 pm

The striker missed the final stages of United’s relegation campaign after undergoing surgery to correct an injury he picked up in training.

Sharp was forced to watch from the sidelines as his boyhood club slid out of the Premier League, but reported for pre-season training earlier this week ahead of former Watford and Fulham chief Jokanović officially joining on July 1 when his contract in Qatar expires.

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“I did something in training and I knew it was pretty bad,” Sharp told The Star at the weekend’s LJS Cup, held in memory of his late baby son Luey Jacob.

“I had some scan results which seemed to show it wasn't as bad as we thought but I found out a few weeks down the line that it was worse and I needed surgery.

“It's been frustrating. Last season was disappointing and I'm gutted. I haven't really said much about it but everyone knows it hurt me.

“I've got a year left, I'm still wanting to contribute and I'm nearly back 100 per cent fit.

The pain of Sheffield United's relegation last season hit boyhood Blade Billy Sharp hard (Lindsey Parnaby - Pool/Getty Images)
The pain of Sheffield United's relegation last season hit boyhood Blade Billy Sharp hard (Lindsey Parnaby - Pool/Getty Images)

“I'm captain of the club, but it's hard to influence as much when you're not playing. Especially when sometimes I was only turning up half an hour before the game because I've been in rehab.

“So it was frustrating and disappointing but it's happened now. It’s about impressing the manager. And I've got some important goals to score to try and help get us promoted.”

The pain of Sheffield United's relegation last season hit boyhood Blade Billy Sharp hard (Alex Pantling/Pool via AP)