Sheffield United: Blackpool's Michael Appleton on his link with James McAtee

Michael Appleton, the Blackpool manager, has spoken of his respect for James McAtee’s family after revealing he used to play sport with the Sheffield United midfielder’s father.
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Speaking after Saturday’s draw with Paul Heckingbottom’s side, which spawned six goals and four red cards, Appleton revealed his links with McAtee in response to a question from The Star.

“Yes, I used to play rugby league with his dad,” Appleton replied. “I’ve not seen him for a good while now but, clearly, he’s got a very talented family on his hands, hasn’t he.”

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McAtee’s older brother, John, joined United’s Championship rivals Luton Town over the summer before returning to his former club Grimsby Town on loan. McAtee, aged 19, joined United on a temporary basis from Manchester City earlier this year and scored his first goal for Heckingbottom’s men against Blackpool.

“No, I’ve not had a go at him about that,” joked Appleton. “Maybe I should have done, reminded him that his dad and me.”