Oliver Norwood: Blades boss says midfielder unlikely to reverse Northern Ireland retirement

Oliver Norwood (right) and Gareth McAuley celebrate after Northern Ireland's win over Ukraine at Euro 2016
Norwood (right) delivered the free-kick for Gareth McAuley's famous Euro 2016 goal against Ukraine in Lyon

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder says there is no hint that Oliver Norwood will reverse his retirement from Northern Ireland duty.

Norwood, 28, has been an ever-present during the Blades' superb start to the Premier League season after confirming his international retirement in August.

"He knew what decision he wanted to make. He was adamant and positive about that," said Wilder.

Norwood won 57 Northern Ireland caps and played at the Euro 2016 Finals.

With concluding Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Netherlands and Germany coming up over the next week, Northern Ireland's hopes of qualification for next year's finals most likely rest on a play-off in March but Wilder believes Norwood will stick with his decision to focus on his club career.

"He wanted to concentrate on this season in the Premier League and he's doing great with the contribution he is making for us," added the Blades boss.

"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."

After Norwood announced his decision, Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill said that he had "tried everything" to make the midfielder change his mind.

O'Neill was appointed as Stoke City manager on Friday but will take charge of Northern Ireland for the concluding Euro 2020 qualifiers and any possible play-off game in March.

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