Sheffield United v Coventry City: Blades need more consistency and belief, says Billy Sharp

Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp laid it out starkly: “I think we’re underdogs and we’re playing at home against Coventry.”

Perhaps Sky think something similar, as their cameras will be at today’s lunchtime kick-off.

Stewing on defeat at Blackburn Rovers for a fortnight, the Blades captain was not pulling any punches.

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Unheralded Coventry have been greater than the sum of their parts this season, the Blades too often have not. Demolitions of Peterborough United and Hull City, the first hour at Barnsley, have shown what they are capable of, but so did the 3-1 defeat at Ewood Park Sharp is still “hurting” from.

SEEKING CONSISTENCY: Sheffield United's Billy Sharp. Picture: Isaac Parkin/Sportimage

Asked what is missing from a team 17th in the Championship having spent the previous two seasons in the Premier League, Sharp replies instantly.

“Consistency individually for it then to come together collectively,” he says.

“We have three or four players who do okay in a game and the rest are not good enough, - me included in some games.

“We started well against Blackburn and scored the (first) goal. We need to get that second goal to really give us not a cushion but something to make us believe we can beat teams two- and 3-0.

RETURN: Coventry City goalkeeper Simon Moore will play his first game at Bramall Lane since leaving Sheffield United in the summer. Picture: Getty Images.

“We seem to lose a lot of belief when things don’t quite go right. When teams score a goal we seem to panic a little bit.

“When we go in front, we don’t seem to be able to control the game. It’s something we’ve talked about, whether it is sitting off and defending a lot better or trying to get that second goal like against Hull or Peterborough.

“The individual battles football’s about is what we need to improve on. If we get on a run, the pretty football will come.”

Sharp cannot wait to take his frustrations out on Coventry and his friend and former Blades team-mate, Simon Moore.

“(I’m) hurting from the Blackburn defeat, you have to wait so long to put that right,” he says. “We’ve got to go out there and give it a right good go.

“We need to have something for the fans to come to the game, for the manager to know what he’ll get from us. If we don’t win games two or 3-0 we get a solid 0-0 draw and move on to the next one.

“Personally I can’t wait. Hopefully there’s 28,000 people there and we’ve just got to believe in ourselves, stick together and give it a right good go. Our fans will back us. If we get one or two wins I’m pretty confident we can go on three, four and five wins on the trot.”