Sheffield United boss reveals why Oli McBurnie was given rare chance against Huddersfield Town

Paul Heckingbottom, the Sheffield United manager, says Oli McBurnie “earned” his start against Huddersfield Town this afternoon.

Saturday, 12th February 2022, 3:30 pm

The Scottish international made a rare appearance from the start this season in West Yorkshire as a replacement for the injured David McGoldrick, and had at least three good chances to score as the Blades and Terriers drew 0-0.

The point took United up to seventh ahead of the game’s 3pm kick offs, with boss Heckingbottom taking the positives from another clean sheet in poor conditions.

Huddersfield did have the ball in the net, when Jon Russell’s header was bundled over the line, but referee James Linington ruled it out for either offside or a foul on goalkeeper Wes Foderingham.

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“He’s earned his start,” Heckingbottom said of McBurnie.

“He’s worked extremely hard for six or seven weeks. He had Covid and then an illness but since the new year he’s worked extremely hard and forced his way in.

“It’s not been easy for him but he earned it and I told him that. We all know what he can be and what a problem he can be for the opposition. I’m pleased he got minutes and efforts on goal and as always, he put a shift in as well.”

Oli McBurnie of Sheffield United in action against Huddersfield Town (George Wood/Getty Images)

McBurnie dropped deep to link play but also saw a first-half header saved, before a good chance early in the second period and a late shot blocked.

Heckingbottom added: “He’s a good footballer but we all want him in the 18-yard box, scoring goals.

“I’m peased he got some efforts on goal but would have been better if he got the winner.”