Sheffield United issue important pledge as they prepare for the Premier League
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Paul Heckingbottom, the United manager, made four alterations to his side ahead of its penultimate assignment of the campaign; last week’s trip to Huddersfield Town. Requiring just a point to guarantee their survival, Neil Warnock’s men went on to claim three by beating a United team which had assured itself of a return to the Premier League eight days earlier.
That result consigned Reading to relegation, alongside Blackpool and Wigan Athletic but Heckingbottom told The Star: “That (the integrity) is something we would never mess around with. It’s something we always respect because, if we found ourselves in a different position, it’s something we would want others to do as well. We want to win every single game and yes, there were things about the performance that none of us were happy with.”
“Team-wise, though,” he continued, “We put out a really strong side. One that, at any other stage, no one would bat an eyelid at.”
Although neither United, who will finish second, nor City have anything professionally riding on the outcome at St Andrews, the hosts are battling for prize money which is allocated according to the final rankings.
Miniscule in comparison to the payments handed out to PL members, Heckingbottom nevertheless said: “I’m mindful of the fact that our lads have been playing Saturday/Tuesday for a long time now. So that’s one of the reasons, as we always would, why we’ve moved things around a bit.”