Burnley v Sheffield United: In-form Blades midfielder looking forward to chance to impress legend

JAMES McATEE is looking forward to another chance to impress one of his favourite players – five years after his last – on Monday night.

Sheffield United are at Turf Moor for the televised 8pm kick-off against a Burnley team who secured their place in next season's Premier League with victory at Middlesbrough on Friday.

Both teams still have something to play for – the Clarets were quick to talk about wanting to win the title, the Blades have the second automatic promotion place to wrap up – but for the hosts the bigger goal looks all but guaranteed, for the visitors increasingly likely.

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So the sub-plot for in-form midfielder McAtee, a boyhood Manchester City fan on loan from the Premier League club, is about facing Citizens legend Kompany.

Although he was missing when the sides met in a brilliant game at Bramall Lane in November – the hosts won that 5-2 – he has performed in front of the Belgian before when he was in City's academy.

"It will be nice to play against a City legend," says 20-year-old McAtee, growing impressively into his first season of senior football.

"When we were 15 he was doing his coaching badges and he took one of our training sessions. I didn't get into the first team when he was there.

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"All the lads were buzzing. He was the captain and everything so it was a great feeling. It was a long, long time ago.

MATURING: Sheffield United midfielder James McAteeMATURING: Sheffield United midfielder James McAtee
MATURING: Sheffield United midfielder James McAtee

"The City training ground's a big place and the academy's on one side, the first team's on the other so we didn't really see him much but in that training session he came across well and took time to speak to all of us. He seems like a great man.

"I've never heard a bad word about him. When he said something, it goes. He sounds like a good leader.

"I don't know if he'll remember me from the under-16s. He might know who I am from watching the Sheffield United games but I don't think he'll remember me from back then."

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Blades manager Paul Heckingbottom has been impressed with how McAtee has developed this season and his assist for the only goal in Friday's 1-0 win over Wigan Athletic underlined it.

PREMIER LEAGUE LEGEND: Former Manchester City centre-back Vincent Kompany, now coach at BurnleyPREMIER LEAGUE LEGEND: Former Manchester City centre-back Vincent Kompany, now coach at Burnley
PREMIER LEAGUE LEGEND: Former Manchester City centre-back Vincent Kompany, now coach at Burnley

"I think I used the word 'mature' with Macca (assistant manager Stuart McCall) on the sideline when he set that goal up," commented Heckingbottom.

"I wouldn't say he's acting more maturely but he's carrying himself like he feels like he belongs there."

He says his rotation during a busy run-in will be "subtle and often."