Daniel Jebbison: Sheffield United's Paul Heckingbottom reveals what impressed him the most about history maker
Daniel Jebbison set an example for Sheffield United’s other centre-forwards to follow after making history on his full Premier League debut, caretaker manager Paul Heckingbottom insisted, after watching the teenager claim the winning goal during last night’s win over Everton.
Jebbison became the youngest player to score on his first start in the competition since its inception in 1992 when he converted Jack Robinson’s cross during the opening stages at Goodison Park, with the visitors going on to claim a deserved victory on Merseyside.
Heckingbottom asked Jebbison to partner David McGoldrick in attack against Carlo Ancelotti’s side, after being impressed with his performance as a second half substitute during United’s defeat by Crystal Palace earlier this month.
Having seen Jebbison reward that faith by netting the only goal of the contest, Heckingbottom told The Star: “The reason why we picked Daniel is that we know he knows where the goal is. He knows he has to get in between those goal posts and, if he does that, then the rewards will come. And that’s what he does - he shows that energy and that desire to get into the right positions, which for me is great to see.
“He brings an energy, hard work and a willingness to run behind and make it difficult for centre-forwards, which is all good and really encouraging. But the most impressive thing about Daniel, and indeed that performance he’s just put in, is the fact that he finished the chance when it came along;. Because, for people in his position, there is nothing more important that doing that.”
Still two months shy of his 18th birthday, Jebbison was only 197 days old when McGoldrick made the first professional appearance of his career in 1994.
“I told him the day before the game that he was going to be in,” Heckingbottom continued. “He handled it well. I did think about delaying naming the team because I knew he was going to be in it, and we didn’t want to put too much on him.
“But I decided against that, just stuck to what we always do, and he showed really good maturity I thought because there will have been a lot of nerves on his part. He had a lot of time to think about what was going to happen.”