Paul Heckingbottom faced the media to preview Sheffield United's trip to Brighton and Hove Albion this weekend, with a number of topics on the agenda.
He was asked about injuries, the Blades' new contract approach and also his opinion on VAR, with an independent Premier League panel ruling unanimously that the decision to give United a spot-kick against Wolves last weekend was incorrect. Here are the talking points from Heckingbottom's press conference ahead of their long trip to the south coast this weekend...
1. Hecky on VAR
"I think if the question is are we getting more correct decisions, I'd say yeah. So in that respect it's working. The problem is, because we're looking at more things we're getting in more arguments about more subjective decisions, which will always be one man's opinions. The fans are talking about it, the media then ask more questions about it and we constantly get asked about it. But managers have always complained if they think a decision is wrong, so I don't think that's changed. We're just discussing more decisions which I don't like, the other thing is when it takes the emotion out of the game. You are conscious of how many checks there are going to be before a goal is give. So there are pluses with more correct decisions but there are negatives as well."
2. Brighton test
Sunday's opponents are on the back of one of the best results in their history, beating Ajax in Amsterdam last night in Europe, and must come back down to earth for their weekend clash with the Blades. "They're a good side," Heckingbottom said. "You can see everything they've done on and off the pitch has got them to this point. They were excellent last night and it'll be tough but we're looking forward to it. They've done really good things on and off the pitch and grown things, the owner takes a lot of credit and the managers. They seem to have got a lot of decisions right and with that investment they've been able to grow things, and it's got them to the night Roberto said was the biggest in their history. Which is hard to argue against if you saw the game last night." Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos
3. More injury frustration for Rhian
Striker Brewster has gone for a scan on the back of his knee/hamstring area after limping off against Wolves last weekend, but it's not a recurrence of his previous hamstring injury. It's a real frustration for both United and the player, who will miss Brighton this weekend and be assessed further over the international break. "It's to be expected, that he's going to get niggles now he's back playing," said Heckingbottom, "but that doesn't mean we're any less frustrated, us and Rhian. But we know how tough he is as a lad and he'll be fine."
4. "Touch and go" on injuries
Having Oli McBurnie and Anel Ahmedhodzic after the international break will represent a significant boost to the Blades' survival hopes, but it's more than likely to be after the international break with the pair rated as "touch and go" for this weekend's game. But Heckingbottom will not take any unnecessary risks at Brighton, with huge games against Bournemouth and Burnley on the horizon