United hit Boro with the sucker-punch of two quick goals in the first half, through Sander Berge and Billy Sharp, and didn’t look back from there, as Jack Robinson and the excellent Morgan Gibbs-White netted after the break.
Boro pulled one back through former Blades target Folarin Balogun, but Wilder admitted that his side were thoroughly second best on an evening to remember at Bramall Lane in front of almost 29,000 supporters.
“It was a special night because Boro are in good form,” Heckingbottom said.
“I know Chris will be pleased to get it it of the way but we're going to have a lot more nights against teams around us.
“There are that many teams in and around the play-offs playing each other every week – there were some tonight and more this weekend – so all we have to do is try and pick up more points than the rest.
“It sounds boring but it won’t settle down until the last few games, we won’t know who it’ll be in the play-offs until the last few games, and we have to make sure we’re in the mix when we get to that point.”
Heckingbottom admitted that beating a play-off rival was “important”, from a practical and also psychological standpoint, but added: “Why did I enjoy the win so much?
“Because of the performance.”