Chris Wilder has outlined the reasons behind his decision to name Billy Sharp as Sheffield United’s club captain.
Wilder was officially unveiled as Nigel Adkins’ successor earlier today and wasted no time imposing his authority on Bramall Lane’s first team squad.
Sharp, who like Wilder is a lifelong United supporter, scored 21 goals in 48 appearances last term after returning to South Yorkshire from Leeds.
“I know Billy Sharp very well, and if there is a player to lead this club forward in our era it would be someone of the character of Billy, the ability of Billy,” Wilder said. “Someone who understands, like myself, the club and what it takes to get promotion.
“He’s done the business at the top end of the pitch this season, and I think it was quite interesting to listen to Billy at the end of the season at player of the year awards, when he scooped all the awards up. The way he talked about the season that’s gone, and I am sure he wants to lead this club to promotion.”
Wilder, previously of Northampton Town, also represented United during his own playing career. Co-owner Kevin McCabe described the 48-year-old’s appointment as a “top achievement” following his exploits at Sixfields where, together with assistant Alan Knill, he overcame serious issues off-the-pitch to deliver the League Two title.
“Billy has a very important part to play in the changing room,” Wilder continued. “He doesn’t have to tell me everything, but he has to lead from the front. We have picked the perfect candidate to do that.”