Make me pick you! Chris Wilder’s challenge to his Sheffield United players after ‘brilliant’ Billy Sharp’s brace against Leeds United

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Chris Wilder has challenged Sheffield United’s players to make themselves ‘untouchable’ after describing Billy Sharp’s performance against Leeds as “brilliant.”

Sharp marked his first Championship appearance of 2018 by scoring twice during the victory over Paul Heckingbottom’s side.

Billy Sharp celebrates scoring his second goal from the penalty spot against Leeds United

Billy Sharp celebrates scoring his second goal from the penalty spot against Leeds United

Wilder, whose team moved to within three points of the top six as a result, admitted Sharp has been “unfortunate” not to feature more in recent weeks but said: “You’ve got to try and plot your way through. He’s been unfortunate that he’s not played; James (Wilson) has come in and Leon (Clarke) has been scoring goals. But you’ve got to play your way into this team, there are no gimme’s and Billy understands that.

“We need to change it up but the ball is always in the court of the players. I’m not going to leave players out who are playing outstandingly well. I might be a bit nuts at times but not that much. The players will always decide.”

Sharp claimed the 200th and 201st league goals of his career as United completed the double over Leeds, having also beaten them 2-1 at Elland Road earlier this term.

After firing a superb volley past Felix Wiedwald in the second minute, he completed his brace from the penalty spot when John Fleck was tripped by Eunan O’Kane. Pierre-Michel Lasogga had earlier drawn the visitors level with a well-placed header.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder during the Championship match at Bramall Lane aaginst Leeds United. Picture: Jack Lancelott/Sportimage

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder during the Championship match at Bramall Lane aaginst Leeds United. Picture: Jack Lancelott/Sportimage

“I thought Billy’s all-round game was brilliant,” Wilder said. “His finishing was obviously there but his other work was quality too. “I look at that. I told him ‘you will naturally, through your career, score. You will have chances in this team, naturally, to score.’ It’s the other bits and pieces that come into it as well. I thought he was brilliant off the ball.”