Sheffield United: 'Why I've got so much respect for the skipper'

He spent another afternoon watching Chris Wilder’s side in action from his vantage point on the bench. But Billy Sharp, who has started only once for Sheffield United in the Premier League this term, has been reassured he remains a critical figure in the club’s top-flight plans.

Sunday, 15th December 2019, 2:17 pm
Billy Sharp has been encouraging his Sheffield United team mates behind the scenes, says manager Chris Wilder: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Despite using the centre-forward only sparingly since his squad’s promotion from the Championship, Wilder is still determined folk appreciate the contribution Sharp has made to a season which was supposed to bring nothing but strife but instead, following yet another win, appears destined to become a huge success.

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“I’ve got a huge amount of respect for the skipper,” Wilder, whose side climbed to fifth after beating Aston Villa, said. “Obviously he wants to be out there and scoring but he isn’t at the moment, not because of anything he’s doing but because of the form of others.

“It’s a difficult period for him, I’m sure. He could have gone individual, he could have been banging my door down, asking why he’s not in there or saying that he needs to be going elsewhere. But he’s not.”

“That shows what type of person he is and what type of character he is,” Wilder continued, paying tribute the work Sharp is doing behind the scenes. “He always puts this club, Sheffield United, first. He always puts the club before himself and that shows what a leader he is. We’ve got a number of those in the dressing room. Some are loud, some are quiet. But there are all leaders.”