Ally McCoist issues verdict on Paul Heckingbottom situation at Sheffield United and sends clear warning

Paul Heckingbottom has been defended amid his likely departure from Sheffield United amid a disappointing start to the season.

Ally McCoist has weighed in on Sheffield United's likely sacking of Paul Heckingbottom. The Blades boss looks as though he will be sent packing on Monday after a bruising 5-0 defeat to likely relegation rivals Burnley.

Heckingbottom has been under pressure for some time after a tough summer transfer window with a lack of investment in his squad. He also lost Sander Berge and Iliman Ndiaye close to the start of the campaign. The soon-to-be-sacked Blades boss came out fighting over the weekend, saying he would leave with his 'head held high' should the decision be made to dismiss him. That decision is now understood to have been made, as reported by The Star earlier today.

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And speaking on TalkSPORT on Monday morning, former Rangers boss McCoist defended Heckingbottom and the job he did to get United back into the Premier League.

"Paul Heckingbottom said he can walk around with his head held high no matter what happens, and you bet he can," McCoist said. "He has been up against it from the word go, losing two of his best players. You are going to get a new manager...who are they going to get? There are people who will take that job and believe they can keep them up.

"But right now, the sending off didn't help, but you look at that game, and the manner of that defeat does not help. That, at the weekend, was a concern. All they can hope for now, if they do get a new manager, is whether they will get a new manager bump for a few games that usually happens, whether they can get some points."

Asked about possible replacements amid Chris Wilder links, McCoist added: "They could get Pep in there, and that is a mammoth task." Wilder is a heavy favourite to be appointed, potentially returning to the club after close to three years away.