Sheffield United RECAP: Heckingbottom's pre-Brighton presser | Jack O'Connell injury update | Blades' ESL view

Paul Heckingbottom, the Sheffield United boss, faced the media again this afternoon ahead of his side’s clash with Brighton on Saturday.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 5:25 pm
Paul Heckingbottom, temporary manager of Sheffield United, during the Premier League match at Molineux, Wolverhampton: Darren Staples/ Sportimage

With the Blades now officially relegated from the Premier League, Heckingbottom was asked his thoughts on a number of topics, including the ill-fated and controversial topic of the Super League.

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Here’s a recap of what the Blades boss had to say, plus the day’s other stories from your Blades team at The Star.

Paul Heckingbottom’s pre-Brighton presser

Last updated: Thursday, 22 April, 2021, 17:36

Gauntlet thrown down to United’s players as they come to terms with relegation

Sheffield United have been told they still have plenty to play for this season, despite entering this weekend’s game against Brighton and Hove Albion knowing they have already been relegated from the Premier League.

The gauntlet has been thrown down to Sheffield United's players as they come to terms with relegation

Sheffield United have been told they still have plenty to play for this season, despite entering this weekend’s game against Brighton and Hove Albion knowing they have already been relegated from the Premier League.

Jack O’Connell’s fight against injury is still at a critical phase

Jack O’Connell remains at a critical phase of his recovery from a serious knee injury, Sheffield United caretaker manager Paul Heckingbottom has admitted, after confirming the centre-half suffered a setback earlier this year.

Sheffield United defender Jack O'Connell's fight against injury is still at a critical phase

Jack O’Connell remains at a critical phase of his recovery from a serious knee injury, Sheffield United caretaker manager Paul Heckingbottom has admitted, after confirming the centre-haff suffered a set-back earlier this year.

Hecky calls for fans to be given a greater say in the governance of football after European Super League furore

Paul Heckingbottom has advocated calls for supporters to be granted a greater say in how English clubs are run as the domestic game continues to deal with the aftershocks of the European Super League crisis.

Sheffield United's Paul Heckingbottom reflects on experience and calls for fans to be given a greater say in the governance of football after European Super League furore

Paul Heckingbottom has advocated calls for supporters to be granted a greater say in how English clubs are run as the domestic game continues to deal with the aftershocks of the European Super League crisis.

What Graham Potter is expecting from the Blades this weekend

Graham Potter, the Brighton and Hove Albion manager, says he is expecting “a spirited performance” from Sheffield United on Saturday evening, despite the Blades being relegated from the Premier League last weekend.

Why Brighton boss Graham Potter is expecting a spirited display from relegated Sheffield United this weekend

Graham Potter, the Brighton and Hove Albion manager, says he is expecting “a spirited performance” from Sheffield United on Saturday evening, despite the Blades being relegated from the Premier League last weekend.

Heckingbottom expects Berge to play again this season

Paul Heckingbottom is confident that Sander Berge will play for Sheffield United again this season, after the Norwegian international midfielder stepped-up his recovery from a hamstring issue that has kept him out of action since before the turn of the year.

Paul Heckingbottom issues key injury update over Sheffield United star Sander Berge

Paul Heckingbottom is confident that Sander Berge will play for Sheffield United again this season, after the Norwegian international midfielder stepped-up his recovery from a hamstring issue that has kept him out of action since before the turn of the year.

PH is asked if he could be the next permanent boss

Everyone will have to wait and see. I know as much as everybody else. I’m not asking the question and I’m not interested in asking it. As far as I know I’m here until the end and then go back to the 23s, which I’m happy to do as I really enjoy that. As far as I’m aware, I’m holding the fort until the end of the season and then going back to my role with the U23s.

PH on introducing more young players

If they’ve been performing well enough, we’ve introduced a few and had different bodies on the bench and may have had more if it wasn’t for the covid restrictions. It would be good but you can’t give them away, I’ve seen too much damage when that happens. A lot of them are token gestures but we haven’t done that, the boys have earned their chances and it’ll continue to be that way.

We’ll be similar to the last game in terms of personnel available, we’ve got Robbo back training which is great. He’s been back for a while, Sander is getting more training games. They’re probably the only changes.

PH: I know what we have to do to be successful

We care about the club, I was clear to everyone that everything I say will be for the good of the club, not in my own self-interests. I’m clear in what it takes to be successful, to win games and produce players, and I can keep saying that. Whether it’s listened to or not is another matter but there are things you can’t bend on. We need a man in charge for the players to turn to, which will be important. That the new man is allowed to make his own changes, in personnel and staff and style to put his stamp on the place.

PH: Players are playing for their careers

Bigger picture, we’re playing for careers. You’re always judged and we understand that. There’ll be no-one taking their foot off the gas but subconsciously there’s a little change. We’re hoping it’s a positive one and that there’s a bit of freedom. We need to keep positive and look to win games. That’s all we can do now, we’re in charge of how we behave in the last six games.

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