Sheffield United: Chris Basham and Billy Sharp are hailed for leading by example
Slavisa Jokanovic insisted the performances of Chris Basham and Billy Sharp during last night’s game at Nottingham Forest set an example for the rest of Sheffield United’s squad to follow.
The Serb had reminded every player at his disposal about the importance of being prepared for action before the visit to the City Ground, particularly those on the periphery of the first choice eleven.
Basham impressed on his first Championship start since August, after being tasked with deputising for the injured Ben Davies while Sharp provided the assist for Morgan Gibbs-White’s goal only seconds after stepping off the bench.
Although Forest snatched an equaliser when fellow substitute Lewis Grabban capitalised on a defensive lapse, Jokanovic, who also recalled Rhian Brewster against Steve Cooper’s side, said: “They showed why I told everyone to be ready. They showed why everyone, even if they have not been in there (the starting eleven) for the last match, must be ready to contribute. Because that is what they did. If we want to achieve our targets, then that is how it must be. These players, and others, they showed the right attitude and that is why they did well.”
“Billy is Billy, he always cares about the team and puts it before himself,” Jokanovic added. “That is the type of person he is, and even when he is not out there he does his best to help and be of assistance.
“The same goes for Bash, who also had a good game.”
United climbed to 15th in the table, five points behind sixth-placed Luton Town, despite surrendering the lead Jokanovic felt their performance deserved.
Lys Mousset featured after recovering from the injury he had sustained during the defeat by Blackpool three days earlier, while Brewster was brought back in from the cold after struggling for form and confidence.
Explaining that decision, Jokanovic, who saw United’s record signing go close to snatching a winner after Grabban had levelled the score, said: “We felt there would be some opportunities out wide and that Rhian could help us exploit those. He had a chance at the end, but I felt he did well in a position he is not always used to playing.”