LiveSheffield United Live: Press conference updates from Paul Heckingbottom ahead of Chelsea FA Cup clash

Paul Heckingbottom faces his first pre-match press conference as Sheffield United manager this afternoon ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup clash at Chelsea.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 1:09 pm
Paul Heckingbottom's Blades take on Chelsea on Sunday: Andrew Yates/Sportimage

Stay tuned to our live blog for updates from the media briefing, as well as all the latest news to come out of Bramall Lane.

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Sheffield United Live: Paul Heckingbottom’s first pre-match press conference as Blades boss

Last updated: Friday, 19 March, 2021, 17:00

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Hecky on Phil Jagielka, after tragic death of his brother earlier this week

Jags is wanting normality; he’s been fine about training and us as a group want to be there for him and give him anything he needs. He wants to focus on the football and I’d ask that from everyone as well, for Phil and his family.

Hecky on how his side can beat Chelsea

We want to go and try and win the game. It’s a one-off game,we know what’s at stake and we know what type of team we’re facing, they’re on a tremendous run. But we can’t be bothered about that, we have to look at what we can do. We need the energy and discipline and when we get the ball, we have to be good enough to hurt them. And that’s what we’ve been trying to work on this week.

Hecky can’t wait for fans to be back

I’m just looking forward to fans being back. We need them, 100 per cent, and from my experience of Bramall Lane, when it’s full and the team’s at it is a tough place to come, and the fans play a part in that. I can’t wait for it to be full again and I’ll certainly be at the game.

Hecky: ‘We want to put smiles back on faces'

It’s about putting smiles on faces now and everyone has a responsibility to enjoy the remaining games. That’s at the forefront of everyone’s mind, a good result and a cup semi final does the job for you. I’m desperate to get through and get to the semi final. That’s first and foremost the game infront of us, and it can also change the outlook of the whole season.

Hecky on Jason Tindall coming in

Jason’s been good, he was at the game on Sunday but met the boys on Tuesday. I want his energy and experience, a different voice for the players to lean on and that’s important. Some people don’t want to speak to the manager and so we need to have those different voices.

Hecky on conversations with players since Leicester loss

We’ve had some conversations about what we expect going forward. There’s a lot of football left and we have two choices, roll our sleeves up andfight or roll over. If the boys are giving 100 per cent they’ll get game time, because that has to be a minimum. There’s no time for anyone to feel sorry for themselves, we have a fantastic game this weekend and nine PL games after that.

Hecky on future of young Blades

We’ve just had Hassan Ayari come back and we want that. I’ve been impressed with the work in the academy and I’ve been proud to be a part of it. We’ve been pushing each other hard and the environment is really good. If we get things right as a club, investing in areas that need investing, there’s no reason in three or four years time you won’t be seeing those boys as regulars at Bramall Lane.

Hecky on international break

People always say breaks are great you can get them on the training ground, but we have a lot of them away. It’s a different situation, it’s great for them to go away, and the boys left behind we pick up and push them. It probably shows the split in the squad and that we have got some senior players who have been on a great journey together, and some younger players in and around the U21s who should go on and have good careers.

Hecky on David McGoldrick

Didzy’s trained today which is good for us, we’ll monitor him and see how he comes through training, so that’s a bonus. Everyone knows we’re light in bodies, especially in certain positions. I’d love to have everyone fit and hopefully we can get back towards that before long.

Hecky on safeguarding after FA’s abuse report is published

From when I started coaching, the systems and processes in place are totally different. There’s so many processes to go through coming into a club, and the amount of safeguarding work before you start a post is immense. And rightly so. There’s a lot more support and direction out there now if there are any issues. There’s a hell of a lot in place and there’s a lot to consider, the processes are excellent.

Hecky on racism after Rhian Brewster was abused on Instagram

It’s a question you hear all the time, what more can be done and there’s got to be a hell of a lot more done. The powers that be, social media platforms, there’s got to be a stance made at some point. It’s too easy to hide and put stuff out there, there’s no accountability. Anything can be said and that’s what hurts. People want engagement with players but things like this will drive players further away from fans. While there is a lot of work being done, and flagging it up is a start, we’re nowhere near where we need to be because until we can reprimand every person who does things like this, we can’t stop.

Hecky on racism after Rhian Brewster was abused on Instagram

It’s a question you hear all the time, what more can be done and there’s got to be a hell of a lot more done. The powers that be, social media platforms, there’s got to be a stance made at some point. It’s too easy to hide and put stuff out there, there’s no accountability. Anything can be said and that’s what hurts. People want engagement with players but things like this will drive players further away from fans. While there is a lot of work being done, and flagging it up is a start, we’re nowhere near where we need to be because until we can reprimand every person who does things like this, we can’t stop.

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