Billy Sharp has revealed how the 3-3 draw with Aston Villa last season proved to be a turning point for Sheffield United last term.
Sharp had fired in a hat-trick at Villa Park to put United 3-0 up and on course to go top of the table. However, a late collapse meant Villa managed to snatch a point and put what proved to be nothing more than a small dent in the Blades’ promotion push.
The United skipper was talking about his favourite goals for the club and got onto the Villa game. Indeed, Sharp insists the game gets looked over somewhat in terms of his goals because of the result.
However, Sharp says it proved to be just what the club needed at that time in the campaign.
“I was gutted that night. Not because I’d scored three but I thought it would have been one of the best results the club’s had”, Sharp had. (One of Our Own Podcast)
“It was the one for me where I felt it could have hurt us. It was all doom and gloom after but after that, the back five and the ‘keeper, we kept seven clean-sheets on the spin.
“Obviously then, we went to Elland Road and the ‘Basham’s arriving’ and I knew then that we had hurt them”.
The game with Villa proved to be a catalyst for the club. As Sharp touches on, it coincided with the Blades going on an unbeaten run that spanned nearly three months. That, of course, proved crucial in the promotion run-in.
A test of character
It’s been said so many times before but this Sheffield United team really does possess a wealth of character.
Sharp touched on Dean Henderson being at fault against Villa and bouncing back. He did it again this season with his mistake against Liverpool. It is simply a trait that Chris Wilder has instilled in this quite brilliant Blades side.
Many Blades fans remember the Villa game fondly for good and bad reasons. It seems, then, that the Sheffield United squad also have the memory firmly lodged inside them.