Paul Heckingbottom reveals his expectations of the Sheffield United squad ahead of FA Cup clash with Chelsea
David McGoldrick could return to action when Sheffield United visit Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with Paul Heckingbottom, who confirmed he will have no qualms about dropping players he feels aren’t “putting it all in”, revealing the centre-forward has resumed training after making progress in his battle to overcome a knee injury.
McGoldrick missed last weekend’s defeat at Leicester City, as United started life without their former manager Chris Wilder by being beaten 5-0 in the east Midlands.
Placed in temporary charge until the end of the campaign, caretaker Paul Heckingbottom’s room for manoeuvre has been limited by a casualty list Wilder described as “unprecedented” before parting company with the club he led from League One to the Premier League during five years at the helm.
But the news McGoldrick could be available for selection is a major boost for United as they look to bounce back from that loss to City by becoming the first team to beat Chelsea since Thomas Tuchel’s appointment in January.
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“Didzy has trained, which is good news for us,” Heckingbottom said. “He’s been back out on the grass, we’ll assess him, ince him up and then get him back out there again.”
McGoldrick, United leading goalscorer this term, has been a rare success story at Bramall Lane since September’s return to action. John Egan (toe), Jack O’Connell (knee) and Sander Berge (hamstring) are set to miss the trip to west London, with Heckingbottom acknowledging the Norwegian is still continuing his rehabilitation away from South Yorkshire.
Although politics played a major part in his departure, results also weakened Wilder’s position - prompting Heckingbottom to add: “First and foremost, it’s looking forward.
“What’s gone is gone. We have an FA Cup quarter final. You could have a 15 to 20 year career and not play in an FA Cup quarter-final.
“(This week) It’s been about the players’ expectations, where they think it’s gone wrong, and my expectations for them.
“If someone isn’t giving it all in training, it’s easy for me to say they won’t play. Whatever the results, we want to set certain standards and get back to the things that brought all that success.”