Nigel Adkins believes it is only a matter of time before Billy Sharp ends his barren run in front of goal.
The Sheffield United centre-forward, who worked with Adkins at Scunthorpe, Southampton and Reading before returning to Bramall Lane earlier this year, enters tomorrow’s match against Walsall having failed to score for four games.
But Adkins, who yesterday allowed defender Terry Kennedy to join Cambridge United on loan, said: “I know, at this level, Billy is going to get chances and that he’s going to put them away. The big thing is believing in him and I certainly do.
“I believed he’d score the goals for us (at Southampton) to get promoted from the Championship to the Premier League and he did. He scored the goals, at vital times too, that meant we weren’t just relying on people like Rickie Lambert. It took a bit of time for him to settle but he did. I also know, having brought him back to Sheffield United, that he’s going to do the same.”
“Sometimes, it’s a game of inches,” Adkins continued. “Like last weekend (against Southend) when he was so unlucky to hit the post. I trust Billy and I believe in Billy like I do others here. We’re creating chances and he’s got to be ruthless enough to take them but he is, don’t worry about that.”
Sharp, aged 29, has hit the target seven times in 19 appearances since leaving Leeds in July.
Adkins, who has paired him with Conor Sammon, Che Adams and Matt Done so far this term, said: “It’s all about partnerships and relationships. For us to go up, we need to score goals and keep clean sheets. We are creating chances and we are scoring goals. Billy started with Conor, he’s worked with Matty and now he’s getting a good partnership with Che. They all contribute.”