Stuart McCall says Rhian Brewster on right track despite £24m striker's tough first two years at Sheffield United

Sheffield United's management team have a reputation for tough love but Stuart McCall says they have no cause for complaint with Rhian Brewster, despite the striker having not scored since January.

Brewster, whose 2021-22 campaign was ended by injury just as he was starting to hit his stride, has only made three Championship starts this season.

But having seen Oli McBurnie belatedly find form in front of goal, assistant manager McCall thinks Brewster can be next – and until he is, he is still making a valuable contribution.

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"About a month ago I said Oli McBurnie just needs a run of games but when we've got the strikers we've got fit at the moment, it's hard to get a consistent run," argued the former Sheffield United and Bradford City midfielder.

GOOD ATTITUDE: Sheffield United forward Rhian BrewsterGOOD ATTITUDE: Sheffield United forward Rhian Brewster
GOOD ATTITUDE: Sheffield United forward Rhian Brewster

"If he (Brewster) had been a left wing-back or centre-back he'd be playing all the time because that's where all our injuries are."

McBurnie had not scored a league goal since December 2020 until finding the net at Luton Town in August but now has four in five matches.

And McCall says Brewster, who assisted Reda Khardra's goal at Swansea City, is in the right physical condition and has the right attitude to come through a difficult start to his Bramall Lane career. Since joining from Liverpool as a £24m 20-year-old two years ago, he has only scored four goals in all competitions.

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"It's about being able to train day in, day out," argued McCall. "Since we (Paul Heckingbottom's coaching staff) have been in he's had little niggling injuries here, there and everywhere.

IMPRESSED: Sheffield United assistant manager Stuart McCallIMPRESSED: Sheffield United assistant manager Stuart McCall
IMPRESSED: Sheffield United assistant manager Stuart McCall

"He needs a run of training so he gets to a level where he's feeling sharp and he knows when he gets the opportunity he'll be ready to go.

“Only when he was injured now and again have I seen him without a smile on his face and you don't expect them to be doing somersaults when they're out of the team through injury.

"But now he's back and training every day, looking sharp and enjoying his football he just needs to get minutes on the park.

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"I knew the price tag and a little bit about his background in youth football playing for England but until you start working with people you don't get a proper idea about people.

"He works ever so hard, he wants to be the best he can, he's not a fancy-dan player with a big price tag who just floats about, he's got a really good attitude and work ethic and he's a good finisher.

"As a coaching staff you can only ask for dedication and hard work and he's giving that.

"He just needs a little run when he can get a goal but I don't we should be getting onto him because he's playing his part in the team when he's involved."