Heckingbottom took over as interim boss following the departure of Chris Wilder in mid-March and although he was unable to stop the Blades’ slide out of the Premier League, he at least restored a little pride with three wins in their last six games.
United also avoided the ignominy of finishing as the Premier League’s worst-ever team, surpassing the record low points total set by Derby, and Heckingbottom is now expected to return to his job with United’s U23s.
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The former Barnsley and Leeds chief’s name was initially inked on the five-man shortlist to succeed Wilder – which did not include Jokanović – before United’s board of directors decided to approach the Serb.
“After a trying season, this is a good day for all Blades fans,” said acting chairman Yusuf Giansiracusa.
“Stephen [Bettis, CEO], my fellow board member Jan Van Winckel and our technical team have conducted an excellent and thorough search process and we think that the result speaks for itself.
“I should also like to take this opportunity on behalf of everyone at the club to express gratitude to Paul Heckingbottom for the fine job he has done during a difficult period.
“Paul temporarily accepted the extra responsibility without reservation, despite the obvious challenges, and through his hard work and superb professionalism, steadied the club and prepared us to move forward with confidence.”