Sheffield United: Boss delivers impassioned plea to the fans ahead of crunch clash with Fulham

Sheffield United supporters have been told ‘You can make the difference’ by manager Paul Heckingbottom, as his team prepares for its final assault on the Championship play-offs.
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Fifth in the table and two points ahead of seventh-placed Middlesbrough, United know they will be guaranteed a top six finish if they beat title-winners Fulham at Bramall Lane today.

With a capacity home crowd set to descend upon Bramall Lane, Heckingbottom said: “The fans, they are going to be huge. To be fair, they probably don’t realise how huge either.

Paul Heckingbottom gestures to the Sheffield United fans: Simon Bellis / SportimagePaul Heckingbottom gestures to the Sheffield United fans: Simon Bellis / Sportimage
Paul Heckingbottom gestures to the Sheffield United fans: Simon Bellis / Sportimage
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“Like us, they have to make the most of the occasion and the opportunity as well. Opportunities like this don’t always come around in football and, together, we can give ourselves a great chance of taking it.

“Everyone needs to enjoy this, including the fans. And everyone needs to be at their absolute best, including the fans.”

With Marco Silva’s side demolishing Luton Town 7-0 earlier this week, United face the toughest assignment of the four teams still hoping to reach the end of term knockouts. Town, in sixth, face Reading while Middlesbrough, now led by Heckingbottom’s predecessor Chris Wilder, travel to Preston North End. Millwall, who trail United by three points, visit runners-up AFC Bournemouth.

A capacity home crowd is expected to descend upon Bramall Lane today:  George Wood/Getty ImagesA capacity home crowd is expected to descend upon Bramall Lane today:  George Wood/Getty Images
A capacity home crowd is expected to descend upon Bramall Lane today: George Wood/Getty Images

Highlighting events during Real Madrid’s Champions League semi-final victory over Manchester City on Wednesday night, when the Spaniard’s head coach Carlo Ancelotti admitted the atmosphere inside the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium had helped change the course of the contest, Heckingbottom added: “Look at what happened there, how Real’s followers altered what was going on. That’s what we want and what I'm sure we’ll have.”