Paul Heckingbottom insists Sheffield United's players are “giving everything for the shirt” after making Leeds United claim

Boss Paul Heckingbottom has responded to some Sheffield United supporters’ claims that his players have downed tools ahead of an inevitable relegation from the Premier League, insisting they are “giving everything for the shirt”.

Thursday, 15th April 2021, 2:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th April 2021, 2:59 pm

United’s demotion back to the Championship could be officially confirmed this weekend, if they lose away at Wolves and Newcastle pick up anything against West Ham in Saturday’s 12.30pm kick-off.

And especially in the recent weeks of their season to forget, some Blades fans have turned on their players and accused them of downing tools early.

But Heckingbottom, still searching for his first win in temporary charge of United after he succeeded Chris Wilder last month, denied that is the case.

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Asked if his players were now effectively playing for their futures, he said: “One hundred per cent. They all know that and they’re aware of that.

“I keep getting asked if they’re trying; 100 per cent they are.

“You just have to look at the physical data. There’s only Leeds that have outperformed us in the physical areas - the players are giving everything for the shirt.

Paul Heckingbottom addresses his troops in training: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

“That isn’t why the results have gone how they have. For some players it could be the last chance to shine in the Premier League, others want to stay at this level.

“So we have to keep reminding them of that.”

United go into the game at Molineux without a win since early March, and have lost all of their five games since. Relegation this weekend would equal the record for the earliest in Premier League history, tying with Derby County and Huddersfield Town.