May 23, 2024


Sheffield United’s injury struggles worsen after trio of key men issues ahead of Newcastle United trip

Sheffield United’s remarkably bad luck on the injury front continued this week with three key men struggling for fitness ahead of this weekend’s trip to Newcastle United. Skipper Oli McBurnie missed Wednesday night’s trip to Manchester United with a groin injury, while Jayden Bogle and James McAtee both made way at Old Trafford with physical issues.

McBurnie went for a scan this morning [Thursday] to determine the extent of the injury amid fears that his United career may be over, with just four games of the season remaining and his contract expiring at the end of this season. Wilder is expected to provide an update on the Scottish international’s condition in his pre-match press conference on Friday ahead of the trip to the north-east, where a defeat will see the Blades officially relegated back to the Championship.

There are also concerns over Bogle and McAtee, with Bogle withdrawn as a precaution after complaining of a tight calf and McAtee playing only 25 minutes off the bench before going down for treatment and making way. “It does make me chuckle when people say they’ve got injury problems,” Wilder said, “when you look at our group and look at what we can put out and who is available to us.”

Despite the home side dominating possession United were well in the game at Old Trafford and twice led, through Bogle and Ben Brereton Diaz, before a familiar story of physical substitutions saw a depleted squad lose their grip on proceedings and concede goals that could potentially have been avoided if the Blades were at full tilt and playing with confidence and belief.

“It doesn’t help,” Wilder admitted. “Bogle was outstanding, but he’s complaining of a tight calf and I have to respect that. I’m looking at it and going, do we gamble? And it is a big gamble. He was cramping up and tightening up and we have to make a decision on that, for the boy and for his health and wellbeing. We can’t just say ‘go and see it through’ and he goes and pulls his calf and is out for the season.

“You don’t want to talk about it really, you want to fight for it but we have to be realistic. McAtee comes on and strains his groin and McBurnie this week, he’s out. He goes for a scan. It all feels like things are piling against us but we’re still having a scrap and the supporters are still believing in us.”


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