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Paul Heckingbottom had no doubts Oli McBurnie would rediscover his goal touch

Hull City v Sheffield United – Sky Bet Championship – MKM Stadium
(Image credit: Nigel French)

Manager Paul Heckingbottom was adamant Oli McBurnie would always come good after his goal helped Sheffield United to the top of the Sky Bet Championship with a 2-0 win at Hull.

McBurnie had gone 43 games without scoring until he found the back of the net at Luton last month.

The Scotland international has since been rejuvenated and claimed a third goal on the spin to put the Blades on their way to three points at the MKM Stadium.

Heckingbottom said: “He’s leading the line well – that’s one of the pleasing things.

“It’s great that he’s scoring but his performances are also helping us to win games. For him to score another goal was great.

“Oli’s physical presence gives us a different threat inside the box. He was outstanding.”

McBurnie’s 20th-minute opener – a speculative hit from the left of the penalty area which went through Matt Ingram at his near post – was just reward for Sheffield United’s enterprising start to the game.

And though goalkeeper Wes Foderingham needed to be at his best to twice deny Oscar Estupinan soon afterwards, the Blades were rarely troubled from the outset.

Sander Berge added a second with 15 minutes remaining when he was given too much space inside the box to batter the ball over Ingram – albeit via a deflection off Jacob Greaves.

The Blades are now unbeaten in the Championship since the opening day of the season, with their manager keen to stress the resilience of his players when out of possession.

Heckingbottom said: “We were strong without the ball. We spoke about their threats on the counter-attack.

“Without the ball we were good, which is great – especially when you are away from home. The whole team, to nullify a team that does create chances, is good.

“We had to battle and work hard and press, but there were are also big moments of quality when we could, and should, have scored more goals.”

Heckinbottom revealed that a report has been made following allegations of racial abuse aimed at Sheffield United players in the second half. Hull have launched their own investigation.

The Blades boss said: “When the lads were warming up, there was some allegation of racial abuse, which the boys heard and reported.

“It’s disappointing. We know there’s no place for it. I’m not speaking bad about Hull supporters, I’m speaking about football in general.

“We’ll follow the process.”

Hull, who recruited far and wide during the transfer window, have now lost three of their last four games and conceded more goals than any other club in the Championship.

Head coach Shota Arveladze said: “It’s not a good statistic – I cannot feel positive about it – but we have to work on it.

“That’s a part of football . You want to score more and concede less but we have to balance between attack and defence.

“I think it was a good game. They are a really tough team to play against, but I think with his (Ingram’s) quality he should save their first goal.”

Arveladze added: “I would say the time when we could have scored was at the end of the first half.

“The game was still even then and sometimes they, too, played the longer balls, but we didn’t create too much in the second half.”

“They scored a second at the right time again. The boys tried – it was a great crowd and a great atmosphere.

“I cannot say too much about the players’ attitude and will and the way they trained before the game.”

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