Sheffield United: £20m man Oli McBurnie opens up on ‘tough couple of weeks’ after video saw his commitment to Scotland national team questioned
Oli McBurnie, Sheffield United’s £20m record signing, has opened up on a ‘tough couple of weeks’ after comments caught on video saw his commitment to the Scotland national team called into question.
McBurnie, who cost United a club-record fee when he joined from Swansea in the summer, was heard on video suggesting he hoped he wasn’t called up to the Scotland squad for their games this month, against Russia and Belgium.
McBurnie’s club manager, Chris Wilder, later defended his striker and insisted the comments were nothing more than dressing room banter, taken out of context.
The striker immediately called Scotland’s boss, Steve Clarke, to clarify his commitment and also addressed his teammates when they met up for training last week.
McBurnie made his first appearance in a Scotland shirt since the episode on Friday, in a 2-1 defeat to Russia, and won/missed out on his latest cap last night when Scotland xxxx Belgium at Hampden Park.
And afterwards, he admitted: “It's been a tough couple of weeks for me. Things like that only happen to me! It was stupid to put myself in that position. It was a private conversation in the dressing-room and five seconds was taken out of context.
“No-one heard the rest of the conversation. But nonetheless it looked terrible and it was stupid from me. My old man was raging at me.
“As soon as it came out, I rang the gaffer and gave him my point of view. We had one conversation and that was it cleared. Everyone who knows me knows how much I love playing for Scotland. I have done since I was a kid. My stupid mouth ran away from me.
“I got down about it because of the backlash. I could see how bad it looks. When I put myself out there like I do, it's easy for people to use it as a stick to beat me with. But it's my own fault, I have to realise where I am, what I can and can't say.
“The family were angry with me, asking why I was saying that. But they know I love being up here and so do the boys in the squad. It was tougher to explain to the gaffer because he doesn't know me.
“But he'll have seen that I was trying to prove a point last week in training, to show how much I want to be here. I ran myself into the ground for the team on Friday.”