Star man highlights importance to Sheffield United side with display against Blackburn Rovers: Boss

Ollie Norwood highlighted his importance to this Sheffield United side with a stunning opener and standout display in a 3-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers this afternoon.
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Burnley-born Norwood was in imperious form against his hometown club’s bitter rivals, scoring a brilliant free-kick opener from long-range and setting the Blades on their way to a victory which sent them to the top of the formative Championship table.

“He’s important for us; he is,” Heckingbottom said of Norwood.

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“Going back to the Premier League when I was working with him, the only instruction from me was: ‘Get on the ball’.

“If he’s not on the ball, it could be me still playing there. That’s his job, that’s how he stands out.

“I’ll never say anything if he gives it away but if he doesn’t get on it, he’s useless to us.

“He’s got the range of passing and the shooting, we saw how he can shoot today. But it was a good all-round performance. As Stuart McCall said afterwards, it was difficult to pick a man of the match today.”

Oliver Norwood of Sheffield United is mobbed by celebrating teammates after scoring against Blackburn Rovers: Lexy Ilsley / SportimageOliver Norwood of Sheffield United is mobbed by celebrating teammates after scoring against Blackburn Rovers: Lexy Ilsley / Sportimage
Oliver Norwood of Sheffield United is mobbed by celebrating teammates after scoring against Blackburn Rovers: Lexy Ilsley / Sportimage
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Iliman Ndiaye came off the bench to score a brace, one with a sense of fortune as Sander Berge’s shot deflected off his back and the other with a touch of class as he picked up the ball, beat three defenders and sidefooted a composed finish off the inside of the post with his left foot.

Oli McBurnie, who was recalled to the side from the start, had three glorious opportunities to end his long league goal drought but was denied on each occasion; first by defender Ash Phillips and then goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski twice.