Sheffield United: Adkins tells Billy not to shoulder blame

Nigel Adkins and his assistant Andy Crosby during a spying mission at Doncaster Rovers

Nigel Adkins and his assistant Andy Crosby during a spying mission at Doncaster Rovers

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Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins believes Billy Sharp is relishing the responsibility of attempting to fire the club he supports towards promotion.

Sharp, a £500,000 summer signing from Leeds, enters tomorrow’s game against Doncaster Rovers in a rich-vein of form having scored five goals in his previous six outings.

Speaking soon after completing his transfer from Elland Road, the 29-year-old insisted he is now “better equipped” to cope with the demands of mixing business with pleasure following two previous spells at Bramall Lane.

Adkins concurred, saying: “I know what a great goalscorer Billy is. Speaking with him, I know he’s really pleased with the amount of chances that are being created. Goals change the complexion of games, of absolutely everything.”

Sharp, who made over 100 appearances for Rovers earlier in his career, inadvertently provided a glimpse into the emotions surrounding his return after accepting “full responsibility” for United’s home defeat by Colchester earlier this month.

Although Sharp missed a late penalty against the visitors from Essex, Adkins said: “Billy is a Sheffield boy and he has that passion which is great to see. But I don’t want him putting his hand up because the only one who takes the blame in circumstances like that is me.”

United are seventh in the table, five points behind leaders Burton Albion ahead of Tuesday’s contest at the Pirelli Stadium. Rovers, meanwhile, are 22nd.

“We’ve got players coming back from injury and we’ll see how they recover,” Adkins said. “It will be a tough game.”

Twitter: @JamesShield1

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