Sheffield United manager, Slavisa Jokanovic, has explained today that Oli Burke is suffering from a lack of self-belief and confidence at the moment.
Burke, like a number of players, has enjoyed a poor 12 month period as a Blade. Since arriving in a swap-deal from West Brom involving Callum Robinson, the former Nottingham Forest man has netted just twice.
The switch in formation for this season under Jokanovic was seen by some as a way for Burke to play himself into contention. But after initially being involved under the Serbian, the 24-year-old has slipped down the pecking order.
However, a decent enough display in midweek against Southampton will have raised Burke’s spirits. And Jokanovic, speaking to Yorkshire Live ahead of the clash with Derby, believes Burke’s confidence is low.
Jokanovic backs Burke
The Blades boss doesn’t appear to be one for sentiment. Indeed, he doesn’t seem to be one for giving players too many second chances either.
But speaking today, Jokanovic did appear to feel an element of sympathy when it came to Oli Burke.
“Oli is part of the group, a Sheffield United player. What has happened or not happened is not important. What is important is he fights to be in the field,” Jokanovic said.
“His biggest mistake is that he does not trust in himself and has lost confidence.”
Our View: Burke still likely to leave in January
We’ve already written on here how the decision to swap Burke for Robinson has bitten us. And in all honesty, we can’t see it changing too much in the coming months.
Burke was reportedly close to joining Middlesbrough, with the Sun reporting the forward was among the Blades players Jokanovic was willing to offload.
While his display on Tuesday wasn’t bad, he still looks short of the required standard for United. One of Burke’s big problems seems to be he hasn’t nailed a position. He’s played wing-back, right-wing, left-wing, and up top in his career.
With that in mind, until Burke knows himself what he wants to be on the field, then others can try and help all they want. A January move, then, would seem the most likely option still.