Paul Heckingbottom answers Sheffield United future question after 8-0 Newcastle United shock
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Paul Heckingbottom faced more questions about his future as Sheffield United manager after his reign’s lowest point so far this afternoon. The Blades were dismantled 8-0 at home to Newcastle United, dropping to the bottom of the Premier League table as their goal difference took a real hammering.
The Blades have been in every game so far, despite taking only a point from five league games, but this was an embarrassment on home turf and in front of the watching Sky Sports cameras. A double-figure scoreline would not have flattered Newcastle as United capitulated defensively and United need to bounce back from the disappointment quickly to ensure the hangover does not linger going into their upcoming games.
Heckingbottom’s future was called into question last weekend after defeat at Spurs, with reports in the national media suggesting he was on the brink of being sacked with Chris Wilder lined up to make a sensational return to Bramall Lane. Speaking ahead of the Newcastle game Heckingbottom insisted he was not bothered by such talk but faced fresh questions after goals from Sean Longstaff, Dan Burn, Sven Botman, Callum Wilson, Anthony Gordon, Miguel Almiron, Bruno Guimaraes and Alexander Isak.
Asked if he expects to be in charge for the next game, Heckingbottom replied: “One hundred per cent. Listen, this [speculation about his future] might be a thing now by the looks of it. I can’t answer any of that. The game I can; the players, my department, no problem. The staff. But questions like that, you are asking the wrong man.”
Defeat capped a difficult day for the Blades after they honoured the life of women’s midfielder and marketing executive Maddy Cusack ahead of the game, whose sad passing at the age of 27 was announced on Thirsday. “It has affected a lot of people and there were tears on the pitch before the game,” Heckingbottom admitted. “We were determined to end what has been a really tough week strongly and we weren’t able to do that. It’s been a tough week for everyone at the club and one we want over.”