Sheffield United: Why Blades boss Chris Wilder got in touch with his Scotland counterpart

Chris Wilder emphasised his commitment to promoting Sheffield United's players on the international stage by personally contacting Steve Clarke after Oli McBurnie, the Sheffield United and Scotland centre-forward, was accused of disrespecting his country last month.

Tuesday, 1st October 2019, 4:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st October 2019, 10:31 pm
Oli McBurnie of Sheffield United and Scotland: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Wilder, the United manager, is understood to have telephoned his counterpart at Hampden Park when footage emerged of McBurnie appearing to suggest that he was less than enamored about being called up for the recent Euro 2020 qualifiers against Russia and Belgium.

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Although the remarks were clearly taken out of context - the comments were made during a light-hearted exchange with his United team mate John Fleck - the 23-year-old felt compelled to address his Scotland team mates when they arrived for training. Wilder, who launched an impassioned defence of his player when a newspaper north of the border first published the story - is also thought to have spoken with Clarke, who is known to have been supportive of McBurnie.

Wilder, who described Clarke as a "really good bloke" ahead of last weekend's Premier League fixture against Liverpool, has also seen Fleck called-up by the former Chelsea defender ahead of Scotland's forthcoming meetings with San Marino and Stanislav Cherchesov's side.