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

Paul Heckingbottom will face the media today ahead of Sheffield United’s clash with his former club Leeds United this weekend.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 9:52 am

Welcome to The Star’s live Blades blog for today, where we’ll be bringing you all the key points from Heckingbottom’s media briefing ahead of Saturday’s trip to Elland Road.

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Paul Heckingbottom returns to Elland Road this weekend: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Paul Heckingbottom’s pre-match presser

Last updated: Thursday, 01 April, 2021, 15:43

    Would you have been happy to see Howe take the Lane job?

    Eddie Howe 'rejects chance to be new Sheffield United boss' and is holding out for Celtic job, according to reports in Scotland

    Reports in Scotland suggest that Eddie Howe, the former Bournemouth manager, has rejected an offer to take over at Sheffield United.

    Why Paul Heckingbottom has "no hard feelings" with former club Leeds United ahead of Sheffield United return

    Paul Heckingbottom admits he has no hard feelings about his exit from Leeds United as he prepares to return to Elland Road this weekend as manager of Sheffield United.

    Why Paul Heckingbottom has "no hard feelings" with former club Leeds United ahead of Sheffield United return

    Paul Heckingbottom admits he has no hard feelings about his exit from Leeds United as he prepares to return to Elland Road this weekend as manager of Sheffield United.

    What Marcelo Bielsa makes of Blades and their boss

    Marcelo Bielsa, the Leeds United manager, says that Sheffield United’s performance against Chelsea was “of a very good level” after praising Blades temporary boss Paul Heckingbottom for the job he did at Elland Road...

    'Only praise' - What Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa said about Paul Heckingbottom and Sheffield United ahead of weekend clash

    Marcelo Bielsa, the Leeds United manager, says that Sheffield United’s performance against Chelsea was “of a very good level” after praising Blades temporary boss Paul Heckingbottom for the job he did at Elland Road.

    PH on the season so far

    It’s been a difficult season for everyone involved, I’ve been out of the bubble in the academy so I’ve not been part of the group and felt it, but it’s tough when results have gone how they have. Everyone has their say and it’s not usually positive, you have to be strong and deal with it. But we have to look forward now. The break, we tried to make the most of it but it’ll be good to get the injured boys back and pick the team on energy, morale, who’s performing and results. We’re stuck a bit for numbers at the minute.

    PH on how he’s found taking temporary charge

    I enjoy it, the interesting thing about this bit is that it’s all-consuming, it’s non-stop and 24/7 but a coach is like that anyway. The players are the last people you think about when you go to bed and the first when you wake up. There’s a lot more media but in the short term, all my focus is on the players I’m working with so as it stands, I’m going to work hard for the players and they’ll get the best of me, and I expect the best of them too. We’ll turn up fully committed to everything we do, and we’ll see where that takes us.

    PH on getting fans back in stadia

    We’ve said that at Bramall Lane, United have suffered with no fans bit every home club could say that. Everyone’s suffering with no fans, even the managers and staff, and as soon as we can get them back the better, safely of course. Whatever role I’m in, I’m going to the first game with a full house, without a doubt. The sooner we can pack Bramall Lane the better. It’s just not the same with no atmosphere and we need fans back, for sure.

    PH on aims for rest of season

    Winning mentality, performance, something to build on. That’s what we’re saying and that’s got to happen. Players are playing for their futures elsewhere, for their futures here, and it’s an opportunity. For some it could be their last time in the Premier League, it’s a big few games that can define this season but how we start next season too. It’s important we don’t waste them and let them fritter away, we’ve got to push for the three points in every one.

    They give opportunities away as well if you’re willing to capitalise on it, we’re looking forward to it and the challenge it’ll bring. We know it’ll be tough to match them and deal with their threats, but we believe we can create chances and problems as well. You have to stand up and enjoy the man-to-man nature of it and look to come out on top.

    It was a difficult time leaving Barnsley but it had to be done on principle and I don’t regret it. It gave me another experience to work with a really good group of players and another ownership, and it gives you an opportunity to learn and get better. I don’t regret it at all, I’ve enjoyed every role I’ve had in football.

    PH on Alan Knill’s future

    That’s between Knilly and the club and it’s nothing to do with me. They don’t want it played out in the press and it’ll stay that way. He’s still here and working with us.

    Page 1 of 3