LEEDS UNITED striker Billy Sharp has revealed his frustration at his recent lack of first-team action and says he is desperate to take his chance when it comes along.
The former Southampton and Sheffield United frontman, who joined United in August, has made just two substitute appearances so far under recently-appointed head coach Darko Milanic, with his last start for the club coming in the victory at Bournemouth on September 16.
Sharp, who has failed to find the net since his memorable debut strike against Middlesbrough on August 16, admits it has been a far from ideal last month, with the forward missing out on the matchday squad in Milanic’s first game in charge at Brentford on September 27.
The 28-year-old admits that Milanic is aware of his frustration, while revealing that the international break has come at a good time personally for him in terms of enabling him to refocus and “clear his head” for the weeks and months ahead.
Sharp, eager for extended involvement back in his native South Yorkshire in Friday’s televised game at Rotherham United, said: “I am frustrated and the manager knows that and I have got to keep doing what I do and get back in the team and keep it (the jersey).
“When you are not playing, the international breaks are a bit of a welcome break and you can get the frustration out of your head and come back fresh and go again and get back in the team.
“Obviously when you are playing, you want to just keep going to keep the rhythm going.
“But I am happy for this break just to clear my head.
“Obviously, every professional footballer wants to play football and I have not played as much as I would have liked to have done.
“But I have just got to get my head down and work hard and when I do get in the first team, take my chance. There’s always four strikers at every club and you have got to be on your game to be in the team.”
Sharp admits that the language barrier between a number of English players and their overseas team-mates has represented an additional hurdle to overcome in the opening months to the campaign, but he is confident that situation will inevitably change given time.
He added: “It is always hard when there is a lot of players coming in and the language barrier as well is difficult.
“But I am sure with time, the blend will get better and we can only improve as a team.”
Former United marksman Luciano Becchio will miss out on the chance of lining up against his own club in front of the cameras on Friday after Rotherham United confirmed he has fractured a heel.The injury is likely to keep the Argentine, who joined the Millers on a season-loan long from Norwich City at the end of the summer transfer window, out for at least six weeks.
Becchio, who moved to the Canaries from Leeds in January 2013 in a part-exchange deal which saw Steve Morison switch to Elland Road, had just began to make waves at the New York Stadium, netting in successive home games against Blackburn Rovers and Charlton Athletic.
Millers manager Steve Evans said: “Regretfully, the player (Becchio) will be out injured for at least six weeks with a fractured heel.
“The player picked up this injury in a behind closed door match, at a point when no player was near him and he twisted to make a run in the opposite direction.
“The player was x-rayed straight after the match which showed no damage, but a further scan on Friday morning diagnosed the hairline fracture.
“Our dialogue with Norwich City in relation to the player will continue to ensure we get the player back playing at the earliest opportunity.”
Midfielder Chris Dawson further strengthened his claims to a first-team call-up by netting twice as United’s development side moved to the top of the Professional Development League 2 table after a 2-1 victory at Bristol City.
Dawson, in outstanding form of late and fresh from a man-of-the-match performance in United’s 6-0 Premier League Cup hammering of Doncaster Rovers last Monday, again excelled in another impressive win for Neil Redfearn’s side.
Adryan didn’t travel to the south-west, suggesting he could have a part to play in the first-team game at Rotherham.
The Brazilian play-maker is still awaiting his debut after his season-long loan from Flamengo.