Doncaster Rovers: Billy Sharp looking to end the frustration

Billy Sharp
Billy Sharp

While everyone at Rovers is focussed on the vital final two games of the season, Billy Sharp can be forgiven for thinking about the long term.

Following next weekend’s game at Leicester, Sharp will once again be facing the unknown.

The striker will return to Southampton, a club in his heart of heart he knows he has little chance of a future at.

Sharp hardly seems buoyed by his current spell at Rovers, one that has delivered just four goals to date.

He openly describes his time back at the Keepmoat as frustrating, something only exacerbated by being dropped for Monday’s trip to Millwall after a disappointing performance in the defeat to Derby.

“I was disappointed with the decision and I think that manager knows that,” Sharp said.

“He’s the manager and he made that decision. He just said he was going with Theo Robinson for the game.

“We got a good point and I’m happy for the lads.”

Sharp is caught in two minds – determined to contribute to the hopeful survival of Rovers but also desperate for light at the end of the tunnel with a career that has flagged following his first few months at Southampton which saw him play a part in their promotion to the top flight.

He said: “It’s just about getting safe now and everyone involved needs to do their little bit.

“Hopefully I can get back in soon and score some goals to keep us in the league.

“I’m just trying to impress in training and see what happens.

“It’s a difficult time. I’ve had no contact with my club that I’m supposed to be at.

“I’ve still got another year but I’ve heard nothing about what they want. The manager has never even seen me train.

“Hopefully I can settle down somewhere, get my finger out and get back on track.

“It’s about someone believing in me and taking a chance on me.”

Those who witnessed Sharp’s talismanic performances in his previous Rovers spell have seen a different player this time around.

And even he admits something has not been right.

He said: “It’s been frustrating again, it’s been a frustrating season.

“I came here and got sent off which wasn’t the greatest of starts.

“It’s been difficult. I was getting chances every single week when I first came back but I wasn’t really at it because I hadn’t played much.

“But the chances have dried up and it’s been a lot tougher. We’ve been under pressure.

“I still believe I’ll score goals but something isn’t quite right and I don’t know what it is.”

Sharp will be pushing for a return to the starting XI against Reading tomorrow, the club where he spent three months on loan earlier this season.

“We know what we’ve got to do,” he said.

“It’s a home game coming up, and if we can get a win we can put ourselves in a good position.”

Although insistent that the team are solely focused on this weekend’s game, Sharp admits it would be a weight off the players’ shoulders if they were able to guarantee safety with a game to spare, before the season finale away at champions Leicester.

“We’ve not even thought about Leicester yet but if we win on Saturday we’ll put ourselves in a good position.

“Hopefully at Leicester both teams are going to be in a relaxed mood and it’ll be all sorted by then.

“If it’s not we’ll have to roll our sleeves up and get a result there too.”

Rovers have found goals hard to come by in recent weeks, and Sharp has not netted since the team’s last win against Leeds in March.

But the forward remains positive about his chances of recapturing his goal-scoring touch.

“I’m always confident I’ll put chances away.

“I haven’t had many in the last few games but we’re not looking for any negatives, we’re just trying to be positive and go into the game and come away with the result that we need.”