Sheffield United: Billy Sharp's chances of facing Nottingham Forest are rated
Sheffield United have refused to rule-out the possibility of naming Billy Sharp, the club’s captain and leading goalscorer this season, in the squad for tomorrow’s play-off semi-final second leg against Nottingham Forest.
Speaking ahead of the trip to the City Ground, where his squad must overturn a 2-1 deficit in order to reach the Championship showpiece at Wembley, Paul Heckingbottom appeared to suggest Sharp has a slim chance of being passed fit following a calf injury.
The 36-year-old has not featured since sustaining the damage during training towards the end of last month, within days of recovering from a hamstring injury.
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Confirming none of United’s long term absentees, including Jayden Bogle and Rhian Brewster, will be available for selection, Heckingbottom said: “There’s only Bill who has a chance of being available and featuring in the play-offs. The rest of the boys, we know they are out.”
“We’d like to think he might be (ready),” the United manager added. “If he’s ready and the medical people tell us that he's ready then, yes, of course we’ll do it.”
With the first instalment of their double-header against Forest being staged on Saturday, United have focused on rest, recovery and tactical work since a match which saw Steve Cooper’s side establish a two goal lead before Sander Berge breathed new life into their challenge late on.
“The atmosphere is going to be fantastic from the start,” said Heckingbottom, insisting Berge’s strike had changed the “complexion” of the tie. “Me, as a player, I always preferred away games and in the three promotions I’ve had through the play-offs, I’ve always won the away leg.”