Sheffield United: The Lowdown on International Blades
Sheffield United's international contingent experienced mixed fortunes with their respective countries today.
Kieran Dowell, on loan from Everton, started England under-21's 1-1 with Poland at Ashton Gate. Another loanee, goalkeeper Dean Henderson, was also called up by the Young Lions but did not feature despite Gareth Southgate's admission that he is being monitored by coaching staff at senior level.
Former United youngster Dominic Calvert-Lewin, now of Everton, was on the scoresheet for Aidy Boothroyd's team.
Centre-forward Conor Washington was an unused substiture for Northern Ireland as they began their 2020 European Championship qualifying campaign with a 2-0 win over Estonia at Windsor Park but Oliver Norwood, his team mate at Bramall Lane, missed the game due to personal reasons.
Steven Davies and Niall McGinn netted for Michael O'Neill's men.
In Kazakhstan, Scotland's opening opponents in Group I, manager Alex McLeish's not to award John Fleck his first senior cap proved a blessing in disguise for the United midfielder. During a miserable evening in Astana, the visitors crashed to a shock 3-0 defeat as Fleck watched on from the bench.
Another former United player, Marc McNulty, was introduced by McLeish during rhe closing stages.