Paul Heckingbottom reveals why Sheffield United's players were "emotional" after 5-0 loss at Leicester and departure of Chris Wilder

Paul Heckingbottom, Sheffield United’s temporary boss, has revealed that his players were “emotional” in the away dressing room after a difficult few days was compounded by a 5-0 hammering at Leicester City.

By Danny Hall
Sunday, 14th March 2021, 4:55 pm
Paul Heckingbottom, temporary manager of Sheffield Utd, during the Premier League match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. Andrew Yates/Sportimage
Paul Heckingbottom, temporary manager of Sheffield Utd, during the Premier League match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. Andrew Yates/Sportimage

United officially confirmed yesterday that Chris Wilder’s five-year spell at Bramall Lane was over, and Heckingbottom was installed in charge until the end of the season.

But his first game could hardly have gone worse, as Kelechi Iheanacho’s hat-trick and goals from Ayoze Perez and Ethan Ampadu (OG) saw United ship five goals for the first time since 2000.

“It was a difficult one to watch, to be involved in and then an emotional dressing room to be in at the end. It’s topped off a difficult week for a lot of people, that,” Heckingbottom said.

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“I’m not going to say what’s been said but it’s an emotional time, Chris is a mate and brought me to the club. For everyone in the dressing room he was their leader and someone they shared a lot of good times and success with, and it’s the end of all that. It’s an emotional time for everyone.

“Leicester were ruthless, but there was a lot of habits from our boys which that success hasn’t been built on. I think the week has taken its toll and the effects of that could be seen.”

Heckingbottom will lead United in their nine remaining Premier League games, while they take a break from the pressures of a survival battle next weekend to face Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.