No Norwood change of heart – Wilder

Sheffield United

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder does not think midfielder Oliver Norwood will go back on his decision to retire from international football.

Norwood, 28, made 57 appearances for Northern Ireland between 2010 and 2018 before calling time on his international career.

The Burnley-born star began life in the England youth set-up, playing for the Three Lions’ Under-16s and Under-17s before switching his allegiance to the men in green.

Norwood’s last game for the Green and White Army came in a 2-0 loss to Bosnia-Herzegovina on October 15 last year before he announced his retirement in August 2019.

Northern Ireland are set to take on the Netherlands and then Germany in their final Euro 2020 Group C encounters during the current international break and are likely to have to win them both to qualify.

Michael O’Neill, who is overseeing his last two games as boss before taking over as Stoke City manager, will not be able to call on Norwood and Wilder feels certain his successor will also be unable to persuade the Blades star to go back.

“He made that decision before these games came along and he knew what decision he wanted to make; he was adamant and positive about that,” Wilder said.

“He is still a big supporter of Northern Ireland football and he’ll be delighted if they get some positive results. Ollie will be a big cheerleader for them but he’s made his decision.”

Norwood’s form has been one of the driving forces behind United’s stellar start to life back in the Premier League, with the Bramall Lane outfit sitting fifth in the table after taking 17 points already.

The former Reading and Brighton man has started all 12 of the Blades’ top-flight games this term and looks to have benefitted from rest periods during the various international breaks.

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