Billy Sharp: I’m ready for business at Leeds United

Billy Sharp.
Billy Sharp.
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BILLY Sharp declared himself ready for an immediate Leeds United debut as the dust settled on his move to Elland Road.

United’s new signing wants a starting place against Middlesbrough on Saturday, saying: “If I get a run in the team, I can get the goals.”

Leeds signed Sharp from Southampton on Wednesday and head coach David Hockaday is set to cut him loose at the first opportunity after assessing his fitness in training on Thursday.

The striker was on the fringes of Southampton’s first team throughout pre-season and has not started a competitive game since April but United are under pressure to respond after their opening game of the Championship term ended in 2-0 defeat at Millwall last weekend.

Leeds followed up that defeat by bringing three new players to Elland Road, including 28-year-old Sharp on a two-year deal, and the forward intends to make a quick impact.

“I told the gaffer I’ve been training and playing through the summer and I’ve not missed a session,” Sharp said.

“I’ve had a bit of game time and that’s obviously not as competitive as tomorrow but I’m ready.

“If I get a run in the team, I can get the goals and help the squad be successful.

“The opportunity to be part of this club and make it successful is a lure to everyone. I wanted to be part of the jigsaw.”

Sharp is the most recognisable of United’s summer signings and arguably the most high-profile.

His arrival and that of centre-backs Giuseppe Bellusci and Liam Cooper – transfers completed in the space of 24 hours – lifted Leeds after a bad afternoon in Bermondsey last weekend, and Hockaday is confident of making amends against a Middlesbrough side who he described as “the in-form team of the Championship.”

Boro finished last season strongly under Aitor Karanka and beat Birmingham CIty on the first day of the new term.

But Hockaday said: “I totally believe that when we get it right, we’ll be a match for most teams.”

Elland Road ahead of kick-off today.

Full-time: Leeds United 3 Millwall 4 - Ten-man Whites beaten on extraordinary day at Elland Road