How Sheffield United boss thinks Rhian Brewster and Iliman Ndiaye can get even better

Paul Heckingbottom, the Sheffield United manager, has challenged star youngsters Rhian Brewster and Iliman Ndiaye to improve their fitness levels despite admitting he is “really pleased” with the duo’s recent performances.

Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 4:30 pm

Ndiaye has been one of the shining lights of the Blades’ season so far after ending his contract impasse in the summer, while Brewster scored his third goal in his last six games as the Blades beat Luton Town 2-0 last weekend.

Both men were withdrawn before the end against Nathan Jones’ side; Brewster as he continues his comeback from a recent hamstring injury, and Ndiaye after suffering from cramp.

And, speaking ahead of this weekend’s trip to Peterborough United, Heckingbottom admitted: “If I’m honest, I thought they were both leggy [against Luton].

“We want more, we want them to be better. They were good; in flashes Iliman showed what he’s all about and Rhian got his goal, which we’re pleased about.

“But we still want more. They’re miles away from where we think they can be, and they’ll be pushed. It’s our job to get on their nerves and push the players, and make sure they’re giving more.

“We’re really pleased with both of them. But if you have to come off, then you have to get fitter and you have to work harder.”

lliman Ndiaye and Rhian Brewster of Sheffield United: Darren Staples/Sportimage

Ndiaye, who was handed his senior debut by Heckingbottom in the Premier League last season, initially didn’t feature for the first-team after his former U23 manager took over late last year.

But he returned to the starting line-up against leaders Fulham just before Christmas, and scored a stunning solo goal to secure a 1-0 victory for the Blades.

Paul Heckingbottom and Iliman Ndiaye have a mutual respect for each other: Andrew Yates / Sportimage