Sheffield United vs Bristol City: Paul Heckingbottom thanks the fans for playing their part in victory

Paul Heckingbottom thanked Sheffield United supporters for helping his reign as manager get off to a winning start, after watching goals from Rhian Brewster and Billy Sharp put Bristol City to the sword.

Monday, 29th November 2021, 6:50 am

The former Leeds, Barnsley and Hibernian chief stepped-up from his role with the club’s under-23’s following Slavisa Jokanovic’s sacking last week, having enjoyed a spell in caretaker charge last season.

Speaking after the victory over Nigel Pearson’s side, which lifted United to 13th in the Championship table, Heckingbottom said: “The supporters were fantastic to me last season and I really appreciated their welcome today. I really enjoyed that and I know Macca (assistant Stuart McCall) and Jack (Lester, head of player development) did too.

“We want the fans to be pleased and we want them to be happy. They played their part out there and that was really pleasing, really good, because they helped the team.”

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Sheffield United versus Bristol City: Rhian Brewster and Billy Sharp ensure Paul...

“One of the things we spoke about was tempo and when there were some long breaks in play, the crowd got behind the lads and started singing straight away,” Heckingbottom added. “That helped them get their tempo right up straight away again. And then when the lads played with tempo, the crowd responded to that as well. So all good. We really appreciated it.”

Heckingbottom described injuries to Brewster, who limped off after opening the scoring, and Oliver Norwood as “potentially the only down points” of a match which took place in blizzard conditions.

Paul Heckingbottom paid tribute to the Sheffield United fans: Alistair Langham / Sportimage

“Rhi felt his hamstring and Oli his calf,” Heckingbottom said. “We’re assessing them.”