Sheffield United LIVE: Paul Heckingbottom's press conference ahead of Everton clash

Paul Heckingbottom will face the media this afternoon to preview Sheffield United’s trip to Everton on Sunday evening.

By Danny Hall
Friday, 14th May 2021, 1:36 pm
Paul Heckingbottom, temporary manager of Sheffield United, with his assistant Jason Tindall: Andrew Yates/Sportimage
Paul Heckingbottom, temporary manager of Sheffield United, with his assistant Jason Tindall: Andrew Yates/Sportimage

Stick with the live blog to hear the key themes to emerge once Heckingbottom’s press conference has concluded, and for all of the news to come out of Bramall Lane throughout the day.

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Paul Heckingbottom’s pre-Everton press conference

Last updated: Friday, 14 May, 2021, 18:00

PH on new Blades manager search

We don’t know the appointment, no-one does. But in terms of how we work, we can’t be worried about that. It gets thrown at us and players want to know because their futures are in the air, and I’d want to know if I was a player too. It’ll sort itself out soon enough.

They’re a team of top players with matchwinners in different positions so we know the threats. They’ve been inconsistent at times and not easy to pin down in terms of shape but they have key individuals, we’ll have to be prepared for their shape. Players can adapt to different systems and it’ll be more about the individual players on the day.

PH on Oli McBurnie’s video controversy

You all know what’s happened, I’m reluctant and the club are to comment when it’s still a police matter. You’ll have your own opinions and you’ll have heard stories but while it’s in the hands of the police, we’ll leave it with them.

PH on more young players being called up after Dan Jebbison made his PL debut at 17

If we are light, you tend to get more people in and about it. We’re at the stage where the squad is thin, we have three games in a week and we have had five lads up with us today and if we’re light they’ll be involved. There’d have been more but for the Covid situation and we’ll try and manage the testing thing and try and get the bench full, and if that’s with younger players then it’ll be a good experience for them.

PH on injuries this season

You want everyone fit and available but we haven’t got that. We’ll roll with it, get others in the team and work hard towards the next game. It’s the biggest correlation ever, teams struggling always pick up more injuries. We’ve got a big list of injuries and significant ones, too. We’ve had a lot of surgery and it’s one of those seasons where nothing’s gone right in that respect.

We picked up a few niggles and injuries, we’ve got Burkey who’s got a fracture in his foot which will put him out for the season and Sander has a niggle so we’ll assess him and won’t take any risks. We’ve lost a couple at the minute but we’ll have to see how that goes.

PH on fans returning to Bramall Lane

I can’t wait. They can’t wait to get back and it’s their team. And for the country, it’s a big sign of normality for people. People are getting back to work and socially things are being lifted and this is a big step and an important one for me. I can’t wait for it.

PH on his own future

Mine’s been clear since I stepped up and said I’d help. The focus shifted because I was named on a shortlist but nothing has changed in my eyes.

PH on ‘uncertainty’ surrounding Blades’ new manager

There will be uncertainty, without a doubt, because no-one knows what’s happening. We’ve had a long period of consistency so that’s why it’s strange here but if you’re a footballer, you don’t get through a season now without losing a manager. You should always be giving everything for yourself and your career, the uncertainty is about who will be in charge and the type of staff. Then hopefully it’ll be sorted out soon.

PH is asked what he’s expecting in last 3 games

We’re expecting to give everything to try and get points and hoping that we win. You look at the data physically from the start of the season, there’s only Leeds that have outrun us. It’s not the effort, it’s the subconscious things. And that’s the hardest thing to get back. That little bit of spark, adrenalin, that little bit that’s missing. If this was a play-off final everyone would be fit and full of adrenalin, but we’re not. So that’s what’s missing throughout the club.

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