Sheffield United’s David McGoldrick backed to get amongst the goals by Billy Sharp

Billy Sharp had a feeling David McGoldrick would break his goalscoring duck for the season at Reading on Tuesday, and now he has, Sheffield United’s captain is hopeful he can start finding the net regularly.

David McGoldrick - “All the boys are delighted for him. Hopefully he can go on a run now," says Billy Sharp (Picture: SportImage)

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One of the big bonuses of the Blades’ FA Cup fifth-round victory at Reading was a goal for centre-forward McGoldrick.

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The 32-year-old was one of the star performers in the club’s best patch of the season so far, at the back end of 2019, but was unable to find the net. In all, he went 22 games without scoring at club level, despite doing so for the Republic of Ireland against Switzerland in September.

Billy Sharp of Sheffield United celebrates scoring the winner against Reading (Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage)

Last season his longest such run was nine matches, and he followed it with goals in five of his next six.

“I had a feeling he’d score on Tuesday,” said fellow centre-forward Sharp, who came off the bench to score the winning goal in a 2-1 extra-time victory.

“It’s great that he has because he knows the pressure’s off and he can go out there and just concentrate and enjoy himself.

“I hope it wasn’t playing on his mind because he’s experienced enough and he’s contributed enough in games. He probably should have had a couple of goals, he knows that, but he’s had assists, he’s playing well.

David McGoldrick of Sheffield United celebrates scoring the first goal (Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage)

“The lads are right behind him, the fans are right behind him, and we know what he does. All he’s not done this season is score goals. He’s put his performances in this season and he’s been unlucky at times.

“He knows he probably should have had a few goals but he’s not shied away from it and he got himself a goal on Tuesday which will do him the world of good.”

“He’s not missed on purpose and he’s not hidden away from it. He’s tried to get into the right areas to get on the end of things.

“All the boys are delighted for him. Hopefully he can go on a run now.”

Being taken to extra-time took it out of the Blades, with Jack O’Connell going down with cramp, and others including Sander Berge and George Baldock struggling too.

But with Panagiotis Retsos making his debut, Osborn making McGoldrick’s goal in only his fifth appearance and Luke Freeman outstanding in midfield on his seventh start, the victory showed the Blades’ strength in depth.

“In an ideal world we’d like to have won it in 90 minutes because we’ve got another game on Saturday (at home to Norwich City in the Premier League),” said Sharp. “That might be something the gaffer has to look at.

“We dug deep and Freezy (Freeman) dug a chance out for myself and I managed to be in the right place at the right time.

“In the last round against Millwall we made five or six changes and put in a really good performance, and again at Reading. It shows you how strong we are with the bench and the people we left at home – John Fleck, Enda (Stevens) and Ollie Norwood. Whoever comes in is just pushing to do as well as they can for the football club.

“That’s why we’re doing so well in the league and why we’ve come so far in the Cup.

“There are some big teams still in the Cup but we’ve given ourselves a chance and we fancy ourselves against anyone.

“We want to keep winning games in the league to make sure we don’t fall away from the top eight there as well.”