Sheffield United: The 'simple' half-time team-talk that inspired vital win over QPR to boost play-off push

Paul Heckingbottom, the Sheffield United manager, revealed his half-time team-talk that inspired a second-half comeback at Queens Park Rangers tonight was a “simple” one as the Blades kept their play-off fate in their own hands.

Friday, 29th April 2022, 10:28 pm

Trailing 1-0 at the break, United hit back through second-half goals from Iliman Ndiaye, Jack Robinson and substitute Conor Hourihane as they moved level on points with fifth-placed Luton Town, who play champions-elect Fulham on Monday evening.

More crucially, however, Heckingbottom’s men moved five points clear of seventh-placed Middlesbrough, who play tomorrow.

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“We probably made it difficult,” Heckingbottom admitted.

“I thought we were good all game but fantastic second half. At half time, we said there wasn’t enough shots or enough killer instinct. They got into our box twice and scored once.

“We don’t want to be a pretty team that doesn’t win. We weren’t clinical enough, didn’t have enough shots and didn’t take chances and then conceded. Second half, we did everything right probably.

“It was a simple [team-talk] because you could see what was wrong and the boys have responded every time. They’ve been great. But when you’re so close it means more, of course.

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom applauds the fans after victory over QPR: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

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“The game will never change. The bit between the boxes is propaganda, in the box is the most important thing. We were just as good with the ball second half but were better in both boxes and that’s why we got the win.

“Their goalkeeper made some fantastic saves and there were some good blocks, but we scored some good goals and we should have had more from set pieces. But the performance was good.”