Sheffield United players’ stance on Paul Heckingbottom’s future revealed after West Ham defeat
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Oli McBurnie insists that Sheffield United’s players are “one million per cent” behind boss Paul Heckingbottom, after their winless start to the season continued at West Ham yesterday. The Blades lost 2-0 at the London Stadium to remain rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table.
Heckingbottom has faced fresh scrutiny over his position in recent weeks, despite leading the Blades to the top-flight amongst a backdrop of financial issues and takeover uncertainty. He was handed a measly budget in the summer, by Premier League standards, with which to work and his side’s lack of quality has led to a return of just one point from their opening seven league matches.
The low point was undoubtedly the 8-0 hammering by Newcastle last weekend and although United rediscovered their fight and character at the London Stadium, it still wasn’t enough to get anything from the game after first-half goals from Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek.
“Definitely,” said striker McBurnie, when asked post-match if United have the quality to start picking up points. “It’s frustrating because you can look at each game, last week aside, and pick out little things. It’s frustrating because we know we should have more points on the board but we can’t make excuses or cry about it. We have to address it and quickly and that starts next week.”
On the talk about Heckingbottom’s future, McBurnie - who worked with the United boss while he was at Barnsley - added: “It’s ridiculous; the things the gaffer’s done and the way he goes about his business and what he’s done with us.
“If you look at his win ratio and where he took us from and where he took us to, with what he’s had to take us there, I don’t think there are many people in the country who could have done that, the boys are one million per cent behind him. I’m one million per cent behind him. He’s top, top class.”