Rangers legend Barry Ferguson leaps to the defence of Sheffield United and Scotland striker Oli McBurnie following 'joke' criticism

Rangers legend Barry Ferguson has leapt to the defence of Sheffield United’s Oli McBurnie after the Scotland striker’s goalless run for the national team stretched to 14 games following their defeat against Slovakia.

Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 11:43 am

The Blades frontman – who started in place of suspended Queens Park Rangers striker Lyndon Dykes – was subjected to fierce criticism from fans north of the border after missing a golden opportunity to break his duck for Steve Clarke’s men in the 1-0 Nations League defeat in Trnava on Sunday.

To compound the 24-year-old’s woe, the former Swansea City man is yet to open his account for Chris Wilder’s United side this season – which has led to questions as to why the Scotland boss should persevere with the striker.

Clarke, himself, has backed the forward and now Ferguson – capped 45 times by Scotland – has described some of the criticism directed towards McBurnie as a ‘joke’ and believes he simply needs to score his first goal to ‘kick on’ with Scotland.

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Five-time Scottish Premier League winner, Ferguson, told Go Radio Football Show: "I thought he worked hard enough, I thought he showed an appetite, he just needs that goal.

"We just need him to find the back of the back of the net. I think when you make that number of changes it can work against you.

"I think we're spoiled with what Lyndon Dykes has been able to do over the past five or six games. There's no doubt about, he (Dykes) been exceptional.

"I feel for him at times, I think a lot of the criticism is a joke if I'm being honest with you.

Sheffield United and Scotland striker Oliver McBurnie. Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images.

"We've heard him speak, and you could see what happened when he scored that penalty last week, there's a real passion in him and he works really hard.

"He just needs to get that goal and I think he will kick on."

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