Oli McBurnie’s mindset switch as Sheffield United look to put record straight in Premier League

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Striker admits Blades have “unfinished business” in Premier League

Oli McBurnie has revealed a drastic change in his mindset, after admitting that Sheffield United have “unfinished business” in the Premier League ahead of their top-flight return next season.

The Scottish international is gearing up for his third campaign at top-flight level after his 15 goals last season as United gained promotion from the Championship, and believes he is “coming into his prime” ahead of pre-season.

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While stopping short of admitting he is looking forward to pre-season, McBurnie laughed that he at least is not completely dreading it - a marked difference in mindset that fits into the wider picture of the 26-year-old really knuckling down.

A host of changes last pre-season, including taking gym work more seriously and installing various recovery aids in his home, led to a drastic change of fortunes in front of goal and United hope that the former Swansea will continue that form into next season, after his Bramall Lane contract was extended by another year.

“I feel like I’ve matured as a player and a person, which has helped me more,” McBurnie admitted. “I know how to take care of myself more and be a lot more professional in terms of priming myself to be ready for the game at the weekend.

“I feel like we’ve got unfinished business in the Prem. The last season [when United were relegated] didn’t go the way anyone wanted it to and you’ve got to remember that, in my first year here, I was 22 or 23. I’m 26 now. I’m coming into the prime of my career and being able to test myself against the best in the world is something I’m genuinely looking forward to.

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“I had a meeting with the gaffer and I said it’s the first time ever ... I’m not going to say i’m excited to go pre-season, but I’m not dreading it. I haven’t had one for the last three years and I felt that during the season, that I really needed it.

“I’m not excited for it - normally I hate pre-season with a passion - but I’m not going to moan every single day, because I know it’s good for me. Normally I can’t enjoy the last part of the summer because I know it’s coming around the corner. But I spoke to the gaffer and I said I’m not dreading it. So that’s progress.”

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