Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp has laughed-off suggestions that he could find it difficult to forge a partnership with new team mate Leon Clarke.
The pair were involved in any angry confrontation last season when Clarke, who joined Chris Wilder’s side earlier this summer, was playing for his former club Bury at Bramall Lane.
But Sharp, the United captain, said: “He was an opposition player last year, so we had to do everything possible to stop him performing against us. Now he is one of us, we want him to be strong and physical - like we know he is - and be a danger to other teams.
“We haven’t mentioned it yet, he knows that’s football, and won’t make a big deal about it. There isn’t one to make.
“He showed in the first two games he is capable of putting the ball in the net, and has caused the opposition problems.”
United, who yesterday signed Middlesbrough’s Harry Chapman on loan, enter this afternoon’s meeting with Rochdale searching for their first win of the new campaign. The England youth international had been poised to join League One rivals Fleetwood Town until Wilder hijacked the deal. Chapman, aged 18, is expected to make his United debut against Keith Hill’s side.
Sharp, reflecting on recent defeats by Bolton Wanderers and Crewe Alexandra, said: “We are creating a lot of chances.
“I should have scored, Leon could have had two or three, we both know that. It’s good that we are getting chances. The time to worry is when we’re not.
“We have had two losses, though, that’s the main thing, the results are the thing we want, that breeds confidence and belief. We need to be mentally and physically strong, and need to win games.”
“As a team we are creating chances, (Mark) Duffy’s hit the bar, (John) Fleck has hit the bar, Clarke’s had one offside, so we are creating opportunities,” Sharp added. “We have put the ball in the net, we are trying things, we just need to be a bit sharper in front of goal. And be braver, and mentally strong, to keep the ball out.”