How blank weekend will affect Sheffield United's preparations for midweek Swansea City test

Paul Heckingbottom says his Sheffield United side are "ready" for Swansea City on Tuesday night, after an enforced blank weekend following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
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All professional games across English football were postponed over the weekend after the Queen's death on Thursday, with the Blades' South Yorkshire derby - scheduled to be played in front of a big crowd at Bramall Lane - falling victim as a result.

The EFL confirmed earlier today that the football schedule would resume from tomorrow, with the Blades travelling to Swansea this afternoon ahead of the meeting with Russell Martin's side.

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Asked how the shutdown affected his side, Heckingbottom said: "We just trained on Saturday instead. It was strange, having no sport or football on the Saturday, but back to normal now. We're ready for tomorrow night.

"I thought it would be called off and initially thought it was right. But then on Friday night and Saturday I wished it was on and we'd pay our respects that way.

"That's my view and I understand that the authorities are 'damned if you do and damned if you don't'.

Paul Heckingbottom, the Sheffield United manager, applauds his side's supporters: Andrew Yates / SportimagePaul Heckingbottom, the Sheffield United manager, applauds his side's supporters: Andrew Yates / Sportimage
Paul Heckingbottom, the Sheffield United manager, applauds his side's supporters: Andrew Yates / Sportimage

"I understand the concerns but they won't go away when we do play. Hopefully we can carry on now, interrupted."

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United have previous experience of dealing with unexpected stoppages, having had a number of games postponed over Christmas last year when outbreaks of Covid-19 hit their opponents' squads.

"We've all got our heads around it, it is what it is," Heckingbottom added.

"It's nothing we haven't had before so it won't affect us. Clubs have got good at dealing with the abnormal and we're ready to go."

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