Sheffield United boss’s Preston verdict after Iliman Ndiaye future admission

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Ndiaye scored his 15th of season against Preston but boss believed he “should have had four or five”

Paul Heckingbottom revealed his anger at a section of Sheffield United’s performance against Preston North End this afternoon, despite the Blades already having achieved their main objective of promotion earlier in the week.

United celebrated their new Premier League status in fine style by beating Preston 4-1, effectively ending the visitors’ hopes of gatecrashing the top six late in the season. North End did get back on level terms at 1-1 thanks to loanee Liam Delap, after Anel Ahmedhodzic opened the scoring, before goals from John Fleck, Iliman Ndiaye and Oli McBurnie sealed a club-record 27th victory for the Blades.

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United celebrated promotion heavily in midweek, leaving Heckingbottom unsure as to what to expect from his side against Ryan Lowe’s side.

“That was my worry and my concern,” he admitted. “And it's not the same edge, without a doubt. Even for myself, I was trying to guard against it feeling like a pre-season game.

“But we played well in the first half and missed chances to put the game to bed and for 10 minutes I was fuming. So that probably shows a little bit of what we're about. From there we were strong, brought a bit more energy in, and we got the victory we deserved.”

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Ndiaye’s goal, after good work from Daniel Jebbison, capped another impressive display but Heckingbottom reminded the Senegal international afterwards that he could have walked away with the matchball. Despite United regaining their Premier League place, Ndiaye will be the subject of much speculation in the summer - with his contract situation, with 12 months left, likely to come into consideration.

“He should have had four or five, shouldn’t he? So that’s my message to Iliman,” Heckingbottom said.

“There's going to be interest,” the Blades boss added. “But have to do all we can to keep him.”

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