How Sheffield United will celebrate making Championship play-offs before Nottingham Forest preparation begins

A traditional end-of-season knees-up at the player of the year awards is how Sheffield United will celebrate making the Championship play-offs.

Saturday, 7th May 2022, 4:51 pm
Updated Saturday, 7th May 2022, 4:52 pm

The Blades secured their spot in the top six with an emphatic 4-0 win over league champions Fulham to set up a two-legged play-off semi-final against Nottingham Forest.

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Heckingbottom said he has already turned his focus to that clash.

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Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom.

But first, it’s party time.

"We have got our player of the year do tonight and I want everyone to enjoy that,” Heckingbottom said.

"Relax, enjoy it, celebrate what we’ve done in terms of the turnaround and understand why.

"Then it’ll be the usual recovery tomorrow and start again Monday morning.”

MORE: 'Unplayable', 'Deadly trio': Sheffield United player ratings after they thrash Fulham

Sheffield United will welcome Forest to Bramall Lane for the first leg next Saturday before the return fixture at the City Ground three days later.

The pair played out consecutive 1-1 draws in their two meetings this season.

"It’ll be two good games,” Heckingbottom said.

"We know each other well. We know their players well, they know us, so they are going to be good games – huge games.

"It’ll be a full house here. It’ll be some atmosphere, then roles reversed away at the City Ground.”

Steve Cooper’s side missed out on automatic promotion after they were beaten away to AFC Bournemouth on Tuesday.

They finished the regular season with a 1-1 draw against Hull City after they were pegged back in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Before Tuesday’s defeat Forest had won nine of their last 10 matches.

Huddersfield Town will play Luton in the other play-off semi-final.

The final will take place at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 29 May.