CHRIS Wilder hailed Billy Sharp 'Mr Sheffield United' after the striker stepped off the bench to grab a late leveller at Cherries.

United's Premier League return looked set to end in disappointment following Chris Mepham's first goal for the Dorset club.

But boyhood Blades fan Sharp, top-scorer during last season's promotion-winning season, scrambled home an 88th-minute equaliser following a free-kick to force a 1-1 draw at Vitality Stadium.

Speaking about 33-year-old Sharp, Wilder said: “He was always going to come on when you're chasing the game but I thought the contribution of all the players was outstanding,

"We were bold in terms of trying to get back in the game.

"We felt that it was coming and we were nice and bright on a free-kick. You're thinking, 'Who do you want floating about in that area?', it's Mr Sheffield United and I'm delighted for him.

"Disappointed to go behind but yet again not surprised by the way my team came roaring back. I think it was the right result.

"There was always going to be apprehension in our play, none of these boys have played at this level.

"When the bullets started flying on the first day, we had to get on with it, learn and quickly grow and I thought we did."

Sharp, who had been on the pitch for six minutes after replacing defender Chris Basham, celebrated wildly in front of the sold-out away following.

"It was important that it wasn't a sightseeing trip for us, it wasn't a day out, it wasn't, 'We've got to the Premier League so let's just enjoy it'," said Wilder.

"They (the fans) ambushed us on our walk through Bournemouth town centre, all piled out of a boozer about 11 o'clock, so that was a bit of an experience for some of the boys.

"Delighted for them and everybody connected to the football club, it's been a long time that they've been out of the division."