‘No hiding place’ for Blades in big TV derby, says Sharp

Billy Sharp celebrates against Colchester
Billy Sharp celebrates against Colchester
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He earned both plaudits and respect for fronting up to the media after his late missed penalty in Sheffield United’s defeat to Colchester on Tuesday.

And Billy Sharp, the United striker, has warned his Bramall Lane teammates that there will be no hiding place when they travel to Yorkshire rivals Bradford City this weekend.

Nigel Adkins’ United make the trip to West Yorkshire, a game live on Sky Sports, placed fifth in the League One table following back-to-back home defeats, to Bury on Saturday and Colchester on Tuesday evening.

And Sharp, who did earlier score from the spot against Colchester before Marvin Sordell’s late winner and Jamie Jones’ spot-kick save denied United a point, said: “We could have won the game - many games, in fact - with my chances, and I hold my hands up and apologise for that. We should be talking about having won three points.

“We gave ourselves too much to do by going two goals behind at half time but in the dressing room, we rallied and we got back in the game in the second half. The fans were back on our side, and we should have got at least a point.

“On Saturday, against Bury, we lost to an unbelievable strike and on Tuesday, it was an unlucky deflection. But it’s a long season, and we’ve got a lot of games left to put things right.

“We’ve looked at the video and reflected on our errors and chances we missed, and discussed how we can do better.

“There is a lot to work on over the next few days because, on Sunday, live on Sky, there’ll be no hiding place.”

Former Barnsley loanee Devante Cole, the son of Manchester United legend Andy, has scored twice in two starts for Bradford this season and Sharp, who himself has four goals in his last four league games, added: “Apart from the missed chances, I’ve been generally happy with my levels of performance lately.

“As a team, we obviously have a few things to work on as we’ve lost two in a row at home but before that, we’d won four games on the bounce. So if we can get back into that winning habit, we’ll be fine.”

Adkins hopes that Ryan Flynn and Che Adams, who both missed Tuesday night’s game with injury and illness respectively, will return for the trip to Bradford’s Coral Windows Stadium.

“Flynny pulled out on the day of the game,” the United manager revealed, “and Che has been suffering with illness. We hope to get him back on the training ground before long and, hopefully, they’ll be in the squad for Sunday.”