Sheffield United v AFC Fylde - Chris Wilder keeps open mind over Billy Sharp’s future

Billy Sharp: Happy to stick at it with the Blades despite interest from other clubs. (Pic: SportImage)
Billy Sharp: Happy to stick at it with the Blades despite interest from other clubs. (Pic: SportImage)
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SHEFFIELD UNITED manager Chris Wilder will continue to adopt an open stance with club captain Billy Sharp regarding any future transfer interest this month.

Sharp, who has found opportunities hard to come by in the Premier League, has been the subject of interest from a number of clubs.

I have told Billy this club has come in for him and that club comes in for him. But he has always said ‘no’.

Chris Wilder

But the 33-year-old – likely to feature in tomorrow’s FA Cup tie with AFC Fylde – remains happy to bide his time at his boyhood club and is no rush to leave. Meanwhile, Wilder has also confirmed that Ravel Morrison – linked with Dutch outfit ADO Den Haag, managed by Alan Pardew – remains happy at the club and will start tomorrow.

On Sharp, Wilder said: “With Billy, it is understandable.

“I would be looking at him if I was not here. I have always been very consistent with the message that until Billy comes to me and says he has to play regular first-team football, then he will be here. And he hasn’t.

“We have had calls from people and enquiries. I am open and honest.

“I have told Billy this club has come in for him and that club comes in for him. But he has always said ‘no’, and that he wants to stay here until at least the end of the season.

“It is the same for Rav, Richard Stearman and Kean Bryan. The reason they have not played is the form of others; position specific.

“There has never been an issue with anybody’s attitude, including Ravel. He has been has good as gold. He will play on Sunday.”

Wilder, who has confirmed he will change his entire starting line-up tomorrow, admits that avoiding a repetition of last season’s embarrassing third-round exit to another non-league side in Barnet will be at the forefront of his mind tomorrow.

On the tie which sees the Blades face a former player in Danny Philliskirk, son of ex-forward Tony, who played for the club in the mid-to-late-Eighties, Wilder acknowledged: “Barnet was one of the lowest experiences for me of last season.

“The opposition were better than us and we never turned up. I will be into my players and if the message was not strong enough last year, it certainly will be this time around. I know Danny really well. I had him on loan as a young lad at Chelsea and I played with his dad as well.

“I know Jim (Bentley – Fylde manager) well too. I tried to sign him when I was at Halifax and he was at Morecambe.

“He is a really great guy and was a really good player. I’ve had some great battles with him. He stayed loyal to Morecambe.”

Former Manchester City and Everton mmidfielder Jack Rodwell will make his debut for the Blades tomorrow after signing a deal for the rest of the season.

The Blades chief said: “He was a highly regarded player at the start of his career. It’s gone a little wrong for him, for whatever reason.

“But there has been no issue with his attitude.”

Last six games: Sheffield United WWWDDL; AFC Fylde DWDDLL.

Referee: J Gillett (Australia).

Last time: the two sides have never previously met.