Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom happy to avoid final-day drama against Fulham
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Three goals inside the opening 25 minutes settled any nerves for the home side, who needed to win to guarantee their place in the top six, in front of a capacity crowd of more than 30,000.
The visitors had nothing to play for and made five changes for the game, but started brightly and pressured the Blades’ goal in the first 10 minutes before Morgan Gibbs-White opened the scoring.
Heckingbottom said: "Fulham showed their quality in the first five or 10 minutes, any ideas anyone had that they weren’t here to win were probably put to bed.
"A lot of it was our making, we weren’t as aggressive as we wanted to be and we didn’t take as many risks as we wanted to.
He added: "The moment we did we became a real force and made the game that we wanted, rather than what they wanted.”
Gibbs-White turned provider after scoring his eleventh goal of the season and teed up strike partner Iliman Ndiaye goal number seven of a breakthrough campaign for him.
Ndiaye then found Sander Berge for the third goal, who in turn set up Enda Stevens for number four.
Heckingbottom, who admitted he loves the drama the business end of the season brings, said: “We wanted to do it our way. I’ve said all along we didn’t want to be thinking about results elsewhere.
"The boys were good.”
He later added: “We made the game as comfortable as it could have been.”