Sheffield United: Boss admits replacement for Robin Olsen yet to be sought as he makes confession about funding

Sheffield United terminated Robin Olsen’s loan at Bramall Lane before drafting in a replacement when the situation became “too difficult” behind the scenes, manager Paul Heckingbottom admitted.

Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 7:24 am

Speaking after watching United throw away a two goal lead against a Preston North End side who saw Andrew Hughes sent-off before-half time, Heckingbottom told The Star he had elected not to activate a clause permitting him to block the AS Roma goalkeeper’s move to Aston Villa until a back-up for Wes Foderingham was sourced.

Read More

Read More
Preston North End vs Sheffield United: Brutally frank defender admits 'We look m...

Clearly furious at the sight of his players conceding twice to Ryan Lowe’s side despite their numerical advantage - “It’s an emotional game and of course I’ve said a few things afterwards” - Heckingbottom revealed a list of potential successors, understood to include Stoke City’s Frank Fielding, has been compiled by United’s recruitment department.

However it remains unclear if all of the savings made following Olsen’s departure - officials at Bramall Lane were believed to have been contributing between £30,000 and £40,000 a week to the Sweden international’s salary - will be reinvested back into the first team, with Heckingbottom acknowledging “I hope so” afterwards.

“It just became too difficult (to keep Olsen), with Roma wanting to get more for their player and also the player wanting to go,” he said. “He wasn’t really our player either, even though we had his loan contract.

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom speaks to Billy Sharp during the Sky Bet Championship match at Deepdale, Preston: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

“I want to bring in someone experienced, who has played in this division - who has played at this level. There’s players out there. We could bring someone in now. But I want it to be the right person.”

Asked if his transfer budget would be boosted following Olsen’s exit, Heckingbottom added: “I hope so. We’d love to use it if we can but it’s not always that straight forward.

“It’s not my money and I respect that. If we were given a budget, then it would be a lot easier for managers. But it (football) rarely works like that anymore.”

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom wants to bring in an experienced goalkeeper: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

United, now 11th in the Championship ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Luton Town, appeared to be cruising to a comfortable win when Billy Sharp converted from the penalty spot at Deepdale after Jayden Bogle had fired them in front.

Despite seeing Hughes dismissed for his foul on Rhian Brewster which led to Sharp’s effort, Preston fought back with strikes from Alan Browne and Emil Riis. The result leaves United nine points behind sixth-placed Middlesbrough, having played two matches fewer than Chris Wilder’s side.

“The game-management was poor, the decision making was poor, it undid a lot of good work in the first part of the game,” Heckingbottom said. “Don’t be afraid to see the game out, even though it’s against 10 men. Clearly we didn’t do that.”

“I’m as sick as you think I am and then times that by 10,” he added. “I’ve spoken in there, I’ve had my words.

“But sometimes it’s better to have that talk when you’ve got that evidence to back up what you’re saying, you can think a little bit more clearly and can be constructive.”