Sheffield United: Paul Heckingbottom to miss Derby County clash after positive Covid test

Paul Heckingbottom will miss Saturday’s game against Derby County after testing positive for Covid-19.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 1:24 pm

Speaking to the media earlier this afternoon, Heckingbottom confirmed he learned that he had contracted the disease following last weekend’s FA Cup tie against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Revealing he has been volunteering for daily screening since taking charge in November, Heckingbottom said: “After Wolves, I’ve been testing daily for this purpose. I wish it hadn't been (positive). But I’m glad I’ve been doing it daily otherwise I wouldn’t have found out until Tuesday. “Maybe in another profession I wouldn’t have been tested. I’m feeling fine.”

After confirming he has spoken to his assistants Stuart McCall and Jack Lester about how to organise the match at Pride Park, Heckingbottom acknowledged he will address United’s squad via video link before kick-off and will also take decisions during the match.

Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom has tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss Saturday's match against Derby County. Andrew Yates / Sportimage

However, he stressed McCall and Lester, United’s head of player development, will “primarily” be in charge.

“I’ve spoken to the analysts, about how we will do things,” Heckingbottom said. “I’ll be involved, yes but Macca and Jack, they will be the ones with a feel for the players. I can’t have that and the one thing I don’t want to do is contradict people. That’s something I never want to do.”