Sheffield United flop backed to shine after signing for Millwall, booking Blades reunion

Former Blades flop Oli Burke is back in the Championship with Millwall
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Gary Rowett, the Millwall manager, has backed former Sheffield United flop Oli Burke to shine at The Den ahead of a reunion with his former club next month.

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Burke scored once in 28 league games for the Blades and moves back to England, on loan with Rowett’s side, having netted twice this season for German side Werder Bremen. United face Millwall at The Den on February 18.

The former West Brom man left United at the expiry of his contract in the summer before making the move to Germany and Rowett told the South London Press: “He’s a player that I tried to sign previously and felt he fits how we want to play.

“Also we wanted to sign him in the summer. The reason I wanted to sign him is because he just started to build that extra bit of confidence with us. He scored a couple of goals and statistically showed that he can effect games in the final third.

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“He’s just that type of player that we haven’t really got. We haven’t got that player with just blistering pace that can get us up the pitch in a tight game and open it up.

“He’s a player that I just need to find him space, as a manager, and he’ll do the rest – get him enjoying his football again. When the opportunity came up it was one we were very keen to try and explore.

“We were very close to signing him (in the summer). We thought we virtually had it done and Werder Bremen came in last minute and offered him a deal that was financially more attractive than ours, and it was the Bundesliga. I always view things as a player as well, and if I look at it as a player I think he probably had to take that opportunity.

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“The fact that we’re then able to take him four, five, six months later is a no-brainer. If his qualities were right then, his qualities are right now.

“Sometimes, as a club, we have to think outside the box. People will be sat there saying why aren’t we signing a goalscorer – a 15 or 20 goal striker – but that is very difficult for us to do, otherwise we’d simply just do it. So we have to find players that just need a little bit of a different environment, different circumstances and different instructions to try and add most of the qualities we’re looking for.

“Whatever has happened to Oli in the last six months is between him and Werder Bremen. We’re grateful they’ve let him come out on loan. Hopefully we can help them by giving him a bit more regular game time and getting a little bit more of that ability out.”

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