Senior players at Sheffield United offer services to try and limit the disruption

A number of senior players within Sheffield United’s first team squad have offered to help guide the club through the remainder of the Premier League season following Chris Wilder’s departure, The Star understands.

Saturday, 13th March 2021, 10:00 pm

Although Paul Heckingbottom could take charge of tomorrow’s visit to Leicester City, at least two members of the dressing room are believed to have offered to actively assist the former Barnsley, Leeds and Hibernian manager.

Heckingbottom is to be assisted by former Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall, Wilder’s former right-hand man Alan Knill and the backroom staff already in place.

Despite having no wish to undermine Heckingbottom’s authority, some of those behind the approach believe it could prove beneficial if they are also allowed to help shape United’s sporting and technical policy beyond the transition period.

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Two of Sheffield United's senior players, not including Enda Stevens, have offered to help coach the team: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

The approach was made to senior members of United’s hierarchy yesterday morning, when they became aware of developments after reporting for duty at the Steelphalt Academy training complex.

Paul Heckingbottom, aged 43, has been in charge of United’s under-23’s after leaving Easter Road 16 months ago.

With all of the first team coaching staff closely aligned to Wilder, and many of those working in other spheres of United’s footballing operations too, Heckingbottom is the most qualified and politically acceptable candidate for the caretaker’s role.

Always minded to one day eventually return to management, although not in these circumstances given his friendship with Wilder, Heckingbottom could be considered on a permanent basis if he proves a success.

However, with United 12 points adrift of safety with only 10 matches remaining, he is unlikely to prevent them being relegated to the Championship – with a major rebuilding exercise planned for the summer.

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