Sheffield United: Billy Sharp is hailed as an example for every Blade to follow
Billy Sharp proved why he is captain of Sheffield United by stepping up to take the penalty which delivered his team’s victory over Derby County, Slavisa Jokanovic has claimed.
Seven days earlier, Sharp had seen a spot-kick saved during United’s 3-1 win at Hull City. But the 35-year-old refused to step aside when, with the score still deadlocked and only two minutes of normal time remaining, County defender Curtis Davies handled Conor Hourihane’s cross.
After expressing concerns about the body language his team displayed when the visitors appeared destined to claim a draw despite playing for over half an hour with 10 men, Jokanovic said: “That is what the skipper is about - fighting. He missed his last penalty but he still says ‘I am here.’
“Okay, Oliver Norwood who could take one wasn’t on the pitch at that moment. But it wouldn’t have mattered. Billy, the captain, he is a really positive example.”
Although County’s Tom Lawrence struck the woodwork in added time as United were spared the embarrassment of conceding an equaliser to opponents left at a numerical disadvantage when goalkeeper Kelle Roos was dismissed, Jokanovic added: “All of my time here, Billy wants to show me and the team that he is important. That is a skipper’s attitude. That is what a captain, every player, should be doing.
"It is not just him. Others have done it at well. But I have been asked about Billy because he scored the penalty, and this is why I say what I say.”