Sheffield United: Blades have to be Sharp to beat Northampton, insists skipper Billy

Billy Sharp of Sheffield Utd turns to celebrate scoring the first goal against Oldham. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Billy Sharp of Sheffield Utd turns to celebrate scoring the first goal against Oldham. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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Billy Sharp, the Sheffield United skipper, insists his side will continue to focus only on themselves as the race for automatic promotion from League One intensifies.

Sharp’s second brace in as many games helped send United to within a point of league leaders Scunthorpe after a 2-0 victory over stubborn Oldham on Boxing Day, and sent him to 16 goals already in 26 games this campaign.

Scunthorpe drew with fellow promotion hopefuls Bradford on Boxing Day, and close out 2016 by facing third-placed Bolton on Saturday.

And Sharp, the boyhood Blade, admitted after the Oldham win: “We knew there were going to be points dropped elsewhere, with teams playing each other.

“But the main thing was we got three points, and we go into the next game looking for three points more.”

Next up for Sharp and United is Northampton Town, the side Chris Wilder led to the League Two title last season before leaving to take over at Bramall Lane.

Now managed by another former Blades favourite, ex-Wales defender Robert Page, Town are 13th in the League One standings and have lost five of their last seven games.

“The next game is against the gaffer’s old team, so they will be wanting to impress,” Sharp added.

“They will be hard to break down too, but we just need to stay focused, keep doing what we do.

“We need to keep grinding out results, and at the moment we are doing that.”