Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie has been getting plenty of praise this season, but the Blades star has been quick to reciprocate that praise towards Jack Lester.
Lester is now part of the first-team coaching set up under Paul Heckingbottom. Lester was formerly a striker for United before taking up a key role in developing the academy. However, Heckingbottom moved Lester up the food chain when he took over as manager. And since then, strikers have reaped the rewards.
Lester is widely regarded as having an impact on Rhian Brewster last season. Similarly, this year has seen Oli McBurnie and Iliman Ndiaye both score nine apiece.
McBurnie praises Jack Lester
Speaking to Yorkshire Live, Blades star McBurnie has revealed what Lester has got the strikers doing. And in doing so, it fits in well with the United number nine’s love of the NFL.
“I like the NFL and a lot of their stuff is film room and they go into their specific position to go and watch a film together and it reminds me a lot like that,” he told Yorkshire Live.
“Strikers will have a meeting, midfielders will have a meeting, defenders will have a meeting. We will get clips sent by Jack and we will fill in what we think the weaknesses are and then compare them to what he has.
“It’s a group thing and we will come up with the best way to play against the teams. Me and Billy did one where we were given clips of the chances the opposition conceded this season, all the individual players and we will do their strengths and weaknesses and what to target.
“We will give our reporting back to the analysis guys and they will put together a presentation for us to take back to the rest of the players. And it’s a good way to get you thinking of how you can hurt them instead of you just sitting there and being dictated to and Jack saying ‘do this’, ‘do that’.”
Certainly, it seems to be working for McBurnie and Ndiaye at least. Sharp, on the other hand, is yet to score this season.
Sheff U News View: Lester’s influence shouldn’t be undervalued at United
Sometimes a coaching team just clicks with the players. Slavisa Jokanovic and his staff couldn’t do it. But right from the off, Heckingbottom, McCall, and Lester have done just that.
These comments from McBurnie provide a real insight into things. It’s detail like this which has obviously led to the glut of goals we’ve seen this season. United have hit the net 35 times, with only Burnley scoring more.
For McBurnie, it’s a method that’s clearly working wonders. Those who follow him on socials will know McBurnie loves his American sports. It appears what Lester is doing is tapping into this for Oli Mac. And long may it continue.
If McBurnie can stay fit and stay in form, then United can win promotion. A new contract is surely on the cards too, after he admitted he’d love to stay put.