Sheffield United defeat spoils Oli McBurnie’s celebrations after opening his Blades goals account

Oli McBurnie of Sheffield Utd celebrates his first goal for the club. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Oli McBurnie of Sheffield Utd celebrates his first goal for the club. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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SHEFFIELD UNITED striker Oli McBurnie admits the shine was taken off his first goal since joining for a club record £17m due to it meaning “nothing in terms of the result”.

The Leeds-born striker opened his scoring account for the Blades in a 2-1 defeat at home to Leicester City.

Goals from Sheffield-born Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes, a former Barnsley loanee, were enough to condemn United to a first defeat since returning to the Premier League.

“It was a nice feeling (to score) but short-lived,” said McBurnie about his equaliser just after the hour mark.

“I was gutted the goal meant nothing in terms of the result. But, yes, it was nice to get off the mark and now I need to kick on.

“I don’t think about it (price tag). That means more to other people. I am just here to do a job and when I get that chance I want to make an impact.”

Chris Wilder, the United manager, admitted afterwards that McBurnie is “knocking on the door” in terms of earning a place in the starting XI after three appearances from the bench.

The 23-year-old striker said: “It is the gaffer’s decision. My job is to put up a case. It is the same as the skipper (Billy Sharp), the same for all the boys.

“We have five strikers pushing for two places. Choosing who to pick will not be easy for the gaffer. It is up to us to put our name in the hat.”

United are in action again tomorrow night, Blackburn Rovers being the visitors to Bramall Lane in the Carabao Cup. Then comes a weekend trip to Chelsea, one of the top flight’s toughest assignments.

Wilder’s men will be hoping both sides are not in the sort of electrifying form in front of goal that saw Leicester triumph on Saturday via two exceptional strikes from Vardy and Barnes. “I guess it did show how ruthless the Premier League can be,” added McBurnie. “Two good goals in terms of quality. Arguably, a bit sloppy on our behalf.

“We had set the standard the previous two games against Palace and Bournemouth. We did not quite match that. We know with this quality that we can be better. We have to get back to that. The fans are going to be with us, no matter what happens. That is just how they breed them up there.

“I have been at the club a few weeks now and I know the quality there is in the dressing room. We did not quite reach those levels against Leicester and were punished.”

Blades report: Page 3