Chris Basham last night described Billy Sharp as the player who can fire Sheffield United back to promotion after predicting he will finish as League One’s leading goalscorer this term.
Sharp enters this evening’s game against Blackpool searching for his 15th goal of the season and fourth in six appearances at Bloomfield Road.
Basham, who spent four years with the Lancashire club before joining United 18 months ago, told The Star: “It’s brilliant having Billy here. He’s on a remarkable run at the moment and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him end up with the golden boot.
“He’s not nice to play against, I can tell you that from experience, he’s terrorised a lot of back fours already this season. And I think he’s brought even more to his game now. Billy always used to be known for his work around in and around the six yard box but he’s taking lots of shots from long-range as well.”
Sharp, who progressed through United’s youth system, returned to South Yorkshire following Nigel Adkins’ appointment as manager on the eve of the present campaign.
Basham, a member of the team beaten in last season’s play-off semi-finals, added: It’s great to have Billy. It’s something we’ve needed for a long time, probably ever since Ched (Evans) was here.
“I wasn’t with United then but you would see that he’s score every single week and sometimes two or three. “Billy is absolutely die-hard for this football club. His mam and dad are season ticket holders and they can come and watch their son out there on the pitch which must be great.
“He wants success for this club and success for this team. He’s got lads around him who are ready to fight to help him get those goals.”
United are eighth in the table following Saturday’s draw with Swindon Town while their latest opponents are a point and two places above the relegation zone after recording the same result against high-flying Walsall.
Basham said: “We’ve got a lad who has scored a lot of goals against Blackpool in Billy and, make no mistake, they’ll be very wary of him. I don’t think they’ll go down and they’ve picked up a lot lately but we are going there trying to make sure it’s not going to be a nice night for them.”
“We’ve had enough hard luck stories here at this club recently,” Basham added. “Which makes us more determined to succeed.”