Leeds United: Sharp backs Heckingbottom to succeed at Elland Road

Billy Sharp scores Sheffield United's first goal against Leeds United on Saturday.
Billy Sharp scores Sheffield United's first goal against Leeds United on Saturday.
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FORMER Leeds United striker Billy Sharp believes Paul Heckingbottom is the right man to take the Whites forward but feels that the turnover of players and staff in recent years at Elland Road has been “mental”.

Sharp netted twice against his former club on Saturday in Sheffield United’s 2-1 victory over Leeds, the first scored with a searing volley on two minutes and the second converted from the penalty spot 16 minutes from time.

Leeds United's Stuart Dallas is tackled by Sheffield United's Billy Sharp.

Leeds United's Stuart Dallas is tackled by Sheffield United's Billy Sharp.

Sharp had scored after just two minutes of the clubs’ previous meeting at Elland Road in October and his goals on Saturday extended his prolific record against Leeds.

The 32-year-old failed to find much form during his spell with Leeds in the 2014-15 season, making 17 starts and scoring five goals before leaving for Bramall Lane.

Heckingbottom is the seventh head coach to take on the job at Elland Road since Sharp signed three-and-a-half years ago – indicative of a turnover of players and staff which the forward described as “mental”.

“It’s a good appointment for them,” Sharp said. “He knows the league, having been at Barnsley a while. I’m sure he’ll do well.

“I saw on the teamsheet that Liam Cooper is the longest-serving Leeds player. He signed the same day as me. It’s mental. They’ve had ins and outs for the last three years, far too many, but hopefully he (Heckingbottom) gets a chance and he’ll be all right. He’s a good manager. I’m just glad we beat his team.”

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