Sheffield United boss warns his side what they must do to stand a chance of beating Preston North End

Paul Heckingbottom has warned his Sheffield United side that they will have to raise their levels against Preston North End tonight if they are to get their season back on track with a positive result at Deepdale.

Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 12:10 pm

United slipped to 14th in the Championship table – a place higher than Ryan Lowe’s men, who are on the same number of points – after losing 2-0 at Derby County on Saturday, a game Heckingbottom was forced to follow virtually after testing positive for Covid-19.

The United manager returned to United’s training complex earlier this week and will lead his Blades at Deepdale.

And he said: “It’ll be a tough game. They are high energy, they like to pass the ball, and they like to be attacking.

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“So there’ll be lots of attacking intent and we have to match that. We have to raise our game from the other day and be better with the ball in terms of quality in the final third and a desire to score and create and take risks.

“It’ll be tough and probably an entertaining game too in terms of how both teams set up.”

Heckingbottom will be without Ben Davies once more at Deepdale, after the former Preston man tested positive for Covid-19. That may mean a reprieve for Jack Robinson, who had another difficult afternoon at Derby, unless Rhys Norrington-Davies is preferred on the left of United’s back three, with Ben Osborn slotting in at left wing-back if Enda Stevens’ injury absence continues for another matchday.

Paul Heckingbottom, the manager of Sheffield United: Simon Bellis/Sportimage