Oli McBurnie reveals half-time words from Chris Wilder inspired Sheffield United to victory over West Ham at Bramall Lane
Oli McBurnie has revealed that some half-time words from boss Chris Wilder inspired Sheffield United to victory over West Ham at Bramall Lane last night.
After a flat first half from both sides which was low of chances, United were visibly more energetic after the break and forged ahead when John Fleck took advantage of a poor pass out from Hammers’ sub ‘keeper David Martin and squared for McBurnie to score.
United had chances to extend that lead – Martin later saving from sub Lys Mousset when one-on-one – and thought they had paid the price in stoppage time, when Robert Snodgrass sneaked in a shot off the near post after good work from Declan Rice.
But after euphoric scenes from Hammers’ players and supporters – Snodgrass ran past his own fans to goad Blades by cupping his ears – VAR checked the build-up to the goal and found Rice had handled the ball.
The goal was ruled out, United won the game and moved up to fifth in the Premier League table, ahead of today’s games.
And McBurnie, whose goal was his fourth in the Premier League following a £20m move from Swansea in the summer, said: “We weren't at our best in the first half but the gaffer got into us at half time and think our performance deserved three points.
“We looked nervous on the ball and were sloppy at times. We weren’t playing like Sheffield United play. We had more energy in the second half and looked a bit more like us.
“We knew it'd be difficult game but managed to get three points in the end.”
“We knew if we stayed in the game we'd have a chance, as we have gears to go into,” the Scottish international added.
“We need stay in the game when we’re not at our best and we did that, which gave us the platform to go and win it.”
Fleck, McBurnie’s Scottish teammate, was named man of the match by Sky Sports but McBurnie’s display was also impressive.
An early turn bamboozled the visiting defence before he netted the winner, and later helped fashion that chance for Mousset by stepping over the ball cleverly.
The striker also did the ugly side of the game well, harrying the West Ham defence out of possession, and is showing signs of becoming accustomed to the Premier League after his summer club-record move.
“Flecky gave it to me a bit earlier than I thought he would, I was still looking at the ‘keeper!” McBurnie added.
“But I managed to put it in. He got a touch but I knew where I was putting it and it was never in doubt.
“It wasn’t pretty but I’ll take it all day long. Goals in the Premier League are beautiul and to get the three points made it even sweeter.”