Chris Wilder hails Billy Sharp's leadership qualities after Sheffield United striker nets against Bournemouth

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder hailed the leadership qualities of his captain Billy Sharp after his vital goal against Bournemouth on Sunday.

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 11:30 am

Sharp has started the last three Premier League matches after being pushed down the pecking order by the arrival of three new strikers in the summer.

But Sharp, who celebrated his 34th birthday last week, remained patient and was rewarded with his first Premier League goal at Bramall Lane in the first half against the Cherries.

Sharp scored goals galore as he helped propel the Blades from League One to the top flight and even when his gametime has been limited, Wilder insists his attitude and temperament have been exemplary throughout.

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Billy Sharp of Sheffield Utd celebrates scoring the first goal: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

"He hasn't played as much as he would have liked. Off the pitch, he's been a fantastic leader," said the Blades boss.

"It's easy when you're playing and scoring, and Billy has scored so many goals for us, to carry out those leadership duties and when you're not it's a little bit more difficult.

"When you sign players, or keep people at the club, you're looking to sign and keep good people as well. You want ambitious players.

"You want ones who can overcome disappointment and are selfless. You want ones who can face up to challenges.

"Billy had offers to leave in January but he wanted to stay. It's been a different type of test, not that I want to put him through a test, but it is, and he showed his reaction. It speaks volumes."