Is Billy Sharp fit enough to play some part? Is the question on every Sheffield United fan’s lips ahead of Nottingham Forest tonight.
Sharp has been missing for the last few weeks through injury and while Iliman Ndiaye has stepped up to the plate admirably, the skipper’s absence was felt against Forest on Saturday. The Reds backline produced a resolute performance but the likes of Cook and Worrall were never really tested with Sharp missing.
Of course, Sharp’s experience and ability to get into goal scoring positions could change the entire complexion of tonight’s game if he is indeed fit. He will occupy the Reds backline, allowing players like Berge and Gibbs-White more space to operate in.
Speaking ahead of the game with Forest tonight, Paul Heckingbottom has admitted there is a chance Sharp is involved.
“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. If he’s ready and the medical people tell us that he’s ready then, yes, of course, we’ll do it,” Heckingbottom told the Sheffield Star.
The last we heard before this from Hecky was how Sharp was having ‘sugar injections’ to help his recovery. Surely, if there’s a chance he can play any minutes, then he’ll be involved tonight.
Our View: Is Billy Sharp Fit For Sheffield United? If He Is, Then He Plays
Heckingbottom is unlikely to thrust Sharp in from the start if he is able to play. He’ll have had just a few days training at most, and Hecky is often cautious and takes a longer term view on things.
However, if Billy Sharp has got anything in the tank, then he has to be involved. Whether that is from the off and he gives us an hour before we introduce Ndiaye, or he comes off the bench if we need a goal. This Sheffield United team is better with Sharp in it.
Sharp will be desperate to play as well. With that, if there’s even a glimmer of hope he gets on the pitch, then rest assured he’ll be in the squad at the City Ground.