Sheffield United: This is why play-off chasing defender is producing his finest form

Paul Heckingbottom, the Sheffield United manager, believes he knows why Jack Robinson is now producing his best form for the club.

Friday, 6th May 2022, 9:00 am

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The defender, who it emerged yesterday had triggered a contract extension which will keep him at Bramall Lane for at least another 12 months, is expected to start tomorrow’s crunch match against Fulham following a series of impressive displays.

Robinson’s performances have helped force United into promotion contention, with Heckingbottom’s side knowing they will be assured of a place in the Championship play-offs if they win their final match of the regular season.

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The main reason

Asked why the 28-year-old, who struggled for form and confidence at the beginning of his career with United, now appears so assured, Heckingbottom told The Star: “With Jack, we get him and he gets us.

“I think that’s important, we know what each other are about. He’s pulled up when he’s not at his best and when we think he might be slacking off a bit with something.

Jack Robinson is producing some of his best form for Sheffield United: David Klein / Sportimage

“But, when it all comes down to it, he’s also a really tough lad. Everyone makes mistakes and Jack, as he’ll you himself, is no different. That’s part and parcel of football and we let him know that.

“Arguably the guy sitting in this chair, my chair, we make more mistakes than anyone. But understanding they will happen, that’s also important.”

The other reasons

Paul Heckingbottom says he 'gets' the Sheffield United defender: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

Robinson’s upturn in fortunes is reflected by the fact that, even though Ben Davies is now available for selection again following injury, Heckingbottom has opted to keep the former Nottingham Forest and Liverpool centre-half in his starting eleven.

It has not gone unnoticed behind the scenes that Robinson also acquitted himself well during Heckingbottom’s spell in caretaker charge last term, when he was tasked with overseeing United’s exit from the Premier League before Slavisa Jokanovic briefly took the reins.

“Don’t forget,” Heckingbottom continued, “Jack also forced his way in back then and we kept clean sheets with him. There’s competition between him and Ben and, when Jack has dipped off a bit, Ben has come in. So that’s a good thing to have too, definitely. It keeps things sharp.”