Sharp won’t give up on his Blades dream

Billy Sharp of Sheffield Utd celebrates scoring against Walsall

Billy Sharp of Sheffield Utd celebrates scoring against Walsall

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He admits it is a “long shot” but as a homegrown player enjoying his third spell with his beloved Sheffield United, Billy Sharp isn’t about to give up on his promotion dream without a fight.

Sharp, one of the few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing campaign at Bramall Lane, has scored 18 goals so far to help United to eighth in the League One table.

They trail sixth-placed Millwall by eight points, with just six games of the season left.

They can make up some ground on the top six this weekend with victory over fourth-placed Gillingham, who beat them 4-0 on the opening day of the season.

And 30-year-old Sharp, who began his career at United before returning for a second spell in 2007, said: “Yeah, it’s a long shot to get the play offs.

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“But maybe that helped us against Walsall last weekend. [Sharp scored United’s second in a 2-0 win at Bramall Lane, after Chris Basham’s opener].

“We felt like we could go out and play for pride. All we can do is tick off one game at a time and not look too far ahead. If we win all our six left, I think we’ll get in the play-offs.

“But we don’t know what else could happen with the other teams around us, so we’ve got to just look after our own game and take care of our own results. That’s all we can really do.”

United’s assistant manager Andy Crosby, meanwhile, insists the hosts will continue their high-tempo playing style against the high-flying Gills this weekend.

“If there’s one thing the Yokshire public want, it’s effort,” Crosby, Nigel Adkins’ No.2 at Bramall Lane, said.

“The amount of one-on-one duels we won against Walsall, and the pressure we put on them in their own half, created an atmosphere and helped us control the game.

“We need to do that in every game and if we can, then we’ll get the rewards of that.

“It was a good win, and sets us up well for the Gillingham game.”