Sheffield United LIVE: Paul Heckingbottom's pre-Burnley press conference | Jebbison called up by England | Reaction to Len Badger's passing

It’s almost the end of a sorry season for Sheffield United, with just one game remaining of their current Premier League adventure before their return to the Championship.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 12:30 pm
Sheffield United's caretaker manager Paul Heckingbottom: Darren Staples / Sportimage

The Blades face Burnley on Sunday – in front of fans, of course! – and boss Paul Heckingbottom will face the media this afternoon to preview it. We’ll have that, and all the other stories to come out of Bramall Lane today, covered right here in our live blog.

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Newcastle v Blades LIVE

Last updated: Friday, 21 May, 2021, 18:00

Sheffield United prepare to say goodbye to the Premier League and a forgettable but informative season

Sheffield United’s latest Premier League campaign, and definitely their last for at least another 15 months, has provided precious few memorable moments but plenty of upset and pain.

Still, as Paul Heckingbottom admitted during his media conference earlier today, at least it will finish on a positive note. Sunday’s match at Bramall Lane, against perennial over-achievers Burnley, marks the return of supporters to their stadium.

“It’s not given us any extra incentive, because we want to win anyway,” Heckingbottom, United’s caretaker manager said. “And it’s about more than just football. It’s another step towards normality, seeing people in the grounds.”

Why Paul Heckingbottom hopes Sheffield United's Premier League farewell is a still a celebration

Paul Heckingbottom says he hopes this weekend’s match against Burnley will be a celebration of everything Sheffield United have achieved over the past two seasons, despite the fact it marks the end of their stay in the Premier League.

Paul Heckingbottom hopes Sheffield United's Premier League farewell is a still a celebration

Paul Heckingbottom says he hopes this weekend’s match against Burnley will be a celebration of everything Sheffield United have achieved over the past two seasons, despite the fact it marks the end of their stay in the Premier League.

"Fantastic news" - Sheffield United tie five promising young players down to new contracts

Sheffield United have tied five of their exciting young players down to long-term contracts at Bramall Lane, with academy boss Jack Lester promising to continue to “push the boundaries” in developing promising talent for the Blades.

"Fantastic news" - Sheffield United tie five promising young players down to new contracts

Sheffield United have tied five of their exciting young players down to long-term contracts at Bramall Lane, with academy boss Jack Lester promising to continue to “push the boundaries” in developing promising talent for the Blades.

"Sorely missed" - Paul Heckingbottom pays tribute to Len Badger after Sheffield United legend's sad passing

Paul Heckingbottom, the Sheffield United manager, says Len Badger will be “sorely missed” after paying tribute to the Blades legend following his death at the age of 75.

"Sorely missed" - Paul Heckingbottom pays tribute to Len Badger after Sheffield United legend's sad passing

Paul Heckingbottom, the Sheffield United manager, says Len Badger will be “sorely missed” after paying tribute to the Blades legend following his death at the age of 75.

PH on his old club Barnsley’s play-off chances

I think they can do it. I watched a bit of the second half and there’s no surprises with Barnsley now, they get it forward quickly and you have to deal with that. Swansea did that and they had more quality in the final third. They’ll be favourites but I hope Barnsley can do it. It’s going to be tough, two other teams in the semi-final, but we’ll watch with interest as well because that’s our league as well for next season.

PH on Chris Wilder to West Brom links

I’ve not spoken to him about any other job but any club that takes him will be lucky to have him. He’ll judge it on merit and timing, the club’s ambition and does it match his ideas? They’ll be things he’s considering, everyone agrees I’m sure that wherever he goes will be lucky to have him.

PH is asked if Burnley can be a model to look to try and emulate

I think they are, 100 per cent. There has to be some legacy, some reflection and proof of your time in the Premier League. Keep building on and off the pitch to get stronger.

Is avoiding record for most PL defeats in a season motivation to not lose on Sunday?

Of course it is but we can’t go in there with fear about statistics, the only one that matters is the goals. An interview the other day he was just throwing stats at me. The stat that matters is the goals and that has to be our focus rather than being scared of avoiding things. We know our fate in terms of where we’ll play but it won’t be any easier in the Championship. I’ve told them that. But if they work as hard as they have done this season, then they’ll be fine.

PH is asked if fans returning will have a difference

I’d love to say yes, I hope so. We’re one of the team that’s suffered, without a doubt. I remember the City game when Oli McBurnie flattened Dias and the place would have gone up. Instead there was a squeal from Dias, a yellow card for Oli and the place was flat again. It’s made it more difficult for the players, without a doubt.

PH on his own future as a manager

Nothing’s changed in the short term, I didn’t come here to be a manager. I came into work with the young players and I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s not been the season we envisaged, but we worked hard and really enjoyed it. Long term I will do it again, I don’t know when that will be but I’m happy with how it’s going.

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