Sheffield United: Why selfless striker volunteered to play through sickness to help his side's play-off push

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Striker Oli McBurnie volunteered to play for Sheffield United through sickness last week after becoming increasingly frustrated with a tough run of injury and illness.

The Scottish international put his hand up to face Queens Park Rangers last midweek despite vomiting throughout the day, and then put in another good shift at the weekend as the Blades were held to a goalless draw by second-placed Bournemouth.

With Billy Sharp joining Rhian Brewster and David McGoldrick on the sidelines, McBurnie is United’s only senior and available striker – and put side before self in a bid to kickstart his own season and continue United’s push for the play-offs.

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“I can’t catch a break at the minute,” McBurnie, who suffered with Covid-19 and then tonsilitis earlier this season, admitted.

“Whether it's injury or illness or whatever. I spoke to the Gaffer on Tuesday, I woke up and was throwing up all day but I said: ‘I'm playing. I can't miss another game’.

“It's doing my head in on the side watching. I've travelled to two games now to try and leave it as late as possible and do a fitness test and I've missed them, so I said to the gaffer: ‘I'm coming. I might not be able to manage the full 90 minutes, but I'll give you everything I've got’.

Oli McBurnie of Sheffield United dives for a header: Andrew Yates / SportimageOli McBurnie of Sheffield United dives for a header: Andrew Yates / Sportimage
Oli McBurnie of Sheffield United dives for a header: Andrew Yates / Sportimage

“I'm slowly getting into it. I feel my fitness is good generally.

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“I've been a bit drained this week, not really eating that much at the start, but now with those two games behind me I'm ready to go and nearly getting to 100 per cent.”

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