Sheffield United are urged to clarify their managerial situation
Sheffield United have been urged to appoint a permanent manager as quickly as possible following their final match of the Premier League season tomorrow, after Paul Heckingbottom confirmed the club needs “clarity” in order to quickly recover from relegation.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s meeting with Burnley, which marks the end of their two year stay in the top-flight, Heckingbottom again attempted to distance himself from reports he could be handed the position on a long term rather than temporary basis having replaced Chris Wilder in March.
Acknowledging the uncertainty caused by the protracted nature of United’s search - which recently saw them approach former Watford and Fulham chief Slavisa Jokanovic about the possibility of taking charge - means he has helped to plan their pre-season preparations, Heckingbottom said: “For me, thinking about what I personally think would be best for the club, I think it will hopefully happened as quickly as possible. Certainly sooner rather than later.
“There’s things that you need clarity on, and the sooner whoever gets it can start making decisions on things like players, recruitment and what exactly they want - the playing style, the day to day stuff, all of that.”
“Having that clarity is important if we want to hit the ground running next season back in the Championship,” Heckingbottom added. “And of course that’s what we want to do, get off to as good a start as possible.
“There’s still things that need decisions on though, like when we come back for training, pre-season schedules and all of that/. So I’ve been helping out with that, yes, because they needed addressing.
“People and players want and need to know what they’re doing. I think everyone accepts that, the sooner we really know, the better it is going to be for everyone. We can really start working on things and putting things in place then.”
Heckingbottom will return to his position with the under-23’s if United look beyond Bramall Lane for Wilder’s successor. United have announced that Daniel Jebbison, who scored on his full PL debut at Everton last weekend, Femi Seriki, Andre Brooks, Jordan Amissah and Oliver Arblaster have all agreed professional contracts.
George Broadbent and Jean Belehouan put pen to paper on new long term deals earlier this year.
“I never nailed my colours to the mast and demanded that if I took the job, then I’d have it going forward and be able to change everything around,” Heckingbottom said. “That, for me, would have been a selfish thing to do. It was all about steadying the ship and trying to lift the mood of the place because, as everybody knows, it’s been really tough.”
“Doing this has enabled me to build relationships with a lot of people,” he added. “I knew some of the first team lads, but not all of them. I knew some of the first team staff, but not all of them.
“Hopefully this helps to bring more continuity between the youth and first team squad now, because I think that’s really healthy for the club.”