Sharp shooting for the stars

Saints striker planning Saturday promotion party

Billy Sharp: Southampton striker eager to test himself against Premier League defences

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Billy Sharp is determined to make his Premier League dream come true and wrap up automatic promotion for Southampton this weekend.

The Saints make the long journey to Middlesbrough on Saturday knowing that victory at the Riverside Stadium will secure a top-two finish in the Championship and a ticket back to the big time.

Sharp helped to put Nigel Adkins' side on the brink with a deadly double in Tuesday's 3-1 victory over Peterborough, and is now looking to carry them over the line.

The 26-year-old has been a regular source of goals in the Football League throughout his career, but he has never been given the opportunity to grace the biggest stage of all.

He is now within touching distance of that target and will be doing his utmost to ensure that there are no late wobbles from the high-flying Saints.

"If we win on Saturday, we've done it," said Sharp.

Superb

"For myself and a lot of the players here who have never played in the Premier League before, it would be a dream.

"I've still got improvements to make to my game, but you can only do that when you get to the top level.

"West Ham put pressure on us by cutting the gap in goal difference with their 6-0 win against Brighton at the weekend.

"But we knew it was still in our hands and all the lads responded superbly.

"Now we are one step closer and we still have the title to play for as well.

"It will be a tough game at Boro, as they need two wins to stand a chance of making the play-offs, but we can go there and get the job done."