John Fleck: What Sheffield United's players were thinking when teammate collapsed at Reading

Jayden Bogle suggested that Sheffield United’s players feared the worst when teammate John Fleck collapsed on the pitch at Reading on Tuesday evening.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 12:00 pm

The Scottish midfielder was taken to hospital after an unspecified medical incident in the second half, which saw him receive lengthy treatment and wear an oxygen mask before leaving the pitch on a stretcher.

Fleck later asked medics about United’s result and was said to be in good spirits as he awaited the results of tests to ascertain the cause and extent of the issue.

And Bogle, who was the matchwinner on the evening as his composed volley sealed a vital three points for the Blades, was asked if he and his teammates feared the worst for Fleck, especially in light of Christian Eriksen’s collapse at the European Championships earlier this summer after suffering cardiac arrest.

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“Yes, definitely,” he replied. “Especially when it happened so quickly.

“You don’t think about things like that going into a game, you just think about a normal football match. But they can happen and it happened today.

“The main thing is that Flecky’s okay and he’s stable. The win was definitely for him. It was a massive result for Flecky.”

Jayden Bogle scored the winner for the Blades on a sombre evening at Reading after John Fleck collapsed: David Klein / Sportimage

Fleck’s collapse sparked understandable concern for the teammates around him. Enda Stevens was the closest player to the Scot, and David McGoldrick and Morgan Gibbs-White were particularly animated in their bid to attract medical attention from the sidelines.

To their credit, United’s players saw the result through – despite a late rally from Reading after Andy Carroll was thrown on from the bench – before gathering together in a huddle at full-time; showing they were together for their teammate.

“You just have to try and switch your focus back onto the game,” Bogle added.

“It’s hard, because you don’t want something like that to happen. But being 1-0 up, we had to try and finish the game for him.”

Victory for the Blades ended a four-game run without a win and saw Bogle register his first goal of the season, a stylish back-post volley from McGoldrick’s deep cross.

“I should have scored earlier,” Bogle conceded. “It’s a positive for me, but it’s about the team tonight. And especially for Flecky.”