Blades striker criticised for ‘disrespectful’ rant after late cup win over Wrexham
Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp accused Wrexham of being disrespectful ahead of their FA Cup fourth-round replay which saw the Hollywood-owned National League club miss out on a blockbuster tie with Tottenham.
The Blades needed two injury-time goals to get past Wrexham, who are owned by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, as Sharp and Sander Berge ensured it would be they who enjoy the glamour tie against Antonio Conte, Harry Kane and the like after a 3-1 win.
The non-league side had dreams of a happy ending for large parts of the night when Paul Mullin’s controversial penalty had cancelled out Anel Ahmedhodzic’s opener before the Blades rewrote the script.
Sharp said the Welsh side acted as if they were already through before the game and that he was “glad” to knock them out.
“I think they have been disrespectful with a few things before the game thinking they were already through,” Sharp said. “I am glad we have beat them.
“They are doing well in their league and we are doing well in our league, I wasn’t happy with a few of their players tonight. That is it now, we have got one over on them tonight, good luck to them for promotion, we put that one to bed now.
“A few of their players I wasn’t happy with and I’m a little bit frustrated at the end, I should have put the game to bed before I did but it is one of those things.
“I wasn’t happy with the way they have been as a club before the game, eyeing up Spurs. They’ve not even beat us. We are an honest set of lads and we want to go as far as we can in this competition. If we get beat in the next round fair enough, we will give it a go.”
Given the first match at the Racecourse Ground was a thriller, ending 3-3, it was always going to be difficult for the sequel to live up to the original, but it certainly had drama.
Mullin, who later missed a second penalty, was clearly outside of the penalty area when Ahmedhodzic’s foul started for the spot-kick he did score, though it continued to the very edge of the box.
The Blades were denied what looked to be a clear penalty of their own late on and Sharp said referee Leigh Doughty was “helping them out”.
The striker added on ITV4: “I think they thought we were going to roll over when they got back in it and I think the referee was helping them out all night as well.
“I don’t think he gave me one foul all night. Yeah, it’s one of those things, I’ve probably lost my head a little bit, but I’ve got a smile on my face because we are through to the next round of the cup and the boys deserve it.”
Sharp did not save his talking just for the TV cameras as he also had words with Wrexham’s players and staff in the tunnel.
Wrexham boss Phil Parkinson was disappointed with the veteran’s response at full-time.
“I am a bit disappointed with Billy to be honest with you, some of the things he was shouting down the tunnel at the end,” Parkinson said.
“Well done Bill, you’re a fantastic player, but I thought he was disrespectful after the game. I think the way the players celebrated and the crowd and staff was just a mark of how tough we made for them and they were relieved to get through.
“The message to Billy is: You’re better than that, you really are. My players are humble people and a great credit to the football club.”
Wrexham, whose journey under the A-list actors has caught the imagination of the country, will now be able to focus on returning to the Football League as they sit three points off the top of the National League with two games in hand.
“We have taken a very, very good team right to the wire. We missed a penalty and I think if that had gone in we would have gone on to win the game,” Parkinson added.
“Over this cup run we have showed everyone what we are all about as a football club and the spirit of Wrexham and how strong it is. We said we wanted the cup run to enhance the league campaign and I really feel it has.”
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Ah but, Issy, you didn’t did you because they substituted you and you came off in a right sulk at 1 – 1.