Pool out to stop Sharp threat

Billy Sharp scoring for Doncaster against Blackpool almost exactly two years ago to the day
Billy Sharp scoring for Doncaster against Blackpool almost exactly two years ago to the day
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Neil McDonald has backed his Blackpool players to handle the threat of Billy Sharp tonight.

The Sheffield United striker arrives at Bloomfield Road on the back of a red-hot scoring run, finding the net in his last seven League One games.

Sharp, who turns 30 next week, has always been a thorn in Pool’s side, and McDonald admits he’ll be briefing his defenders on his danger. “He’s a top scorer who is proven at any level,” said the Pool boss.

“We’ll make sure that if he’s playing we are fully aware of his qualities. If we defend like we have in the last couple of games, we should be fine.”

Tonight’s clash with a Blades side looking to force their way back into the play-off zone is followed by a visit from League One leaders Gillingham on Saturday.

While the manager admits the games couldn’t be much tougher, he hopes the Seasiders can continue the form which has seen them win three of their last four at home, most recently the 5-0 hammering of Scunthorpe.

McDonald said: “They are two very difficult fixtures but our home form is excellent.

“If we play anything like we have in the last five or six games at home, then we have a real chance.”

Sheffield United arrive at Bloomfield Road just two points outside the top six and smarting from a disappointing home draw with Swindon Town on Saturday.

And McDonald is fully aware of the task facing his squad. “They are a great side with some excellent players,” he said. “They have some top attacking players and we have to be right up for it.”