Boss absolves Oli McBurnie and Rhian Brewster of blame for Sheffield United shootout defeat on "lottery" of penalties
Slavisa Jokanović absolved Oli McBurnie and Rhian Brewster of any blame for Sheffield United’s penalty shootout defeat to Southampton in midweek, after the strikers missed their spot-kicks as the Blades tumbled out of the Carabao Cup.
McBurnie had earlier scored the Blades’ equaliser to take it to penalties, calmly volleying past Fraser Forster for his first goal since last December.
United’s record signing Brewster came on at the break and was busy without particularly threatening Forster, before the former England international saved his spot-kick en route to the Saints’ 4-2 penalty victory.
“Sometimes penalties are a lottery,” Jokanović admitted after the game.
“Of course, you expect to always score in the situation but Oli McBurnie played a very good game and Rhian too.
“Oli scored in the game and was permanently fighting and winning the challenge.
“I cannot charge the people with missing the penalty. Of course we can do this shot a little bit better but in general the performance was good and that's what I'm focusing on, the positives.”
Brewster, who scored his first goal in United colours in the Blades’ first-round win over Carlisle United at Bramall Lane, has not found the back of the net for his club since that game, although he did score from the spot for England U21s in their Euros qualifying game against Kosovo earlier this month.
“Felt so good to be back playing at Bramall Lane,” McBurnie posted on Twitter.
“Gutted about the result and my penalty but I thought the boys were tremendous tonight!”