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14th September 2020

Science Oli McBurnie: Scotland boss Steve Clarke okay with striker playing friendly after squad withdrawal

Science Oli McBurnie: Scotland boss Steve Clarke okay with striker playing friendly after squad withdrawal


science Scotland and Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie
McBurnie is yet to score in nine outings for Scotland
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Date: Friday, 4 September Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online; live text commentary on the BBC Sportwebsite & app; highlights on BBC Scotland channel from 22:30

Oli McBurnie insists he was “ready and willing to give his best” for Scotland, with the decision to withdraw him from the squad “taken out of his hands”.

The Sheffield United striker played on Tuesday, prompting Scotland head coach Steve Clarke to explain a “world of difference” between a friendly and competitive internationals.

“Nobody is more frustrated than me,” said McBurnie, who will miss the Nations League matches against Israel and Czech Republic due to a foot problem.

Echoing the thoughts of Clarke and Blades manager Chris Wilder, the 24-year-old said via social media: “The reality is that I haven’t been able to train at all for the last two weeks due to a cut that became infected.

“Given that pre-season coincides with the Nations League matches, the last thing I wanted to do was let myself or my country down.

“I was ready and willing to give it my best but both managers – probably rightly – took the decision out of my hands.

“Playing a bit longer than I expected in a friendly is a different world to an international double-header but I get how some people perceive it.”

McBurnie signed off by saying he was working on being fit for the next round of internationals in October.

Following news of the striker’s half-time appearance against Derby, Clarke released a response, making it clear that he and Wilder had talked the issue over and the Scotland medical team also agreed that “it made sense” for McBurnie to return to his club.

“Chris is one of the most honest men in football and we had a good discussion about where Oli was at,” he said.

“People have to remember there’s a world of difference between getting some minutes in a pre-season friendly and preparing for an international double header.”


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