Sheffield United striker, Oli McBurnie, has conceded that he needs a kick up the backside in training from Paul Heckingbottom at times.
The big striker played a starring role at the weekend for United as the Blades saw off Blackburn Rovers at Bramall Lane in style. Despite not getting on the scoresheet, McBurnie produced a fine all-round display and has been tipped to lead the line once again this weekend against Luton.
McBurnie has retained the backing of Paul Heckingbottom and Stuart McCall despite his lack of goals. And speaking to the Yorkshire Post, the United number nine has admitted he relishes Hecky pushing him along in training.
“It’s literally like having two dads! I think I do need it, though, I can coast through sometimes. The way the gaffer wants to play is front foot all the time and to be able to play like that you need to be at it every single day in training,” McBurnie says.
“At first I was like, ‘Why is he on me? Leave me alone!’ but I quickly realised if he’s not on you, that’s when you need to worry. He’s on you because he cares. He knows to be on me is the best way to get the best out of me. There will be mornings in training where if I’m quiet he knows I’ll be trying to have a chilled day and not be at it. He’ll be in the warm-up saying, ‘I can’t hear you, you’re going to have a down day!’ Not on his watch.”
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Our View: McBurnie To Repay Heckingbottom’s Faith
It’s a monster of a season this for Oli McBurnie. His contract is entering the latter stages for one, while the team also needs him to step up and score goals with Billy Sharp out injured.
The game against Blackburn was a good start and there is no denying that the coaching staff and Heckingbottom are doing all they can to give McBurnie confidence. The goals will come if he plays like he did on Saturday, while those sorts of performance in general will help the team.
McBurnie is desperate to do well and over time, we feel he’ll repay the faith shown in him by Paul Heckingbottom.