Sheffield United: Wales star's World Cup heartbreak reveals a serious problem with the schedule

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom has suggested English football could be forced to consider the demands the fixture schedule is placing upon players after confessing he was not surprised to see Rhys Norrington-Davies succumb to injury earlier this month.
Read More
Sheffield United: The bravery Wales defender has shown in the face of World Cup ...

The Wales international will miss tomorrow’s visit to West Bromwich Albion and the forthcoming World Cup after being diagnosed with a serious hamstring issue sustained during his team’s recent game against Coventry City.

Although the extent of the damage Norrington-Davies suffered did come as a shock, Heckingbottom said: “For me, it’s no coincidence what’s happened to Rhys, looking at the amount of football he’s played and the amount of travelling he’s done. It’s right up there, more than in fact, than anything else he’s done in his career. If you look across all levels, it’s happening. It’s so tough now for players to perform without breaking down or having a dip in form.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

United’s assignment at Albion will be their seventh outing in the space of only four weeks, as the Championship attempts to squeeze in as many matches as possible before it shuts down for the tournament in Qatar. Norrington-Davies, one of Heckingbottom’s most consistent performers so far this term, had been expected to travel with his country to the Middle East. However, with United confirming he faces “months rather than weeks” in the treatment room, his compatriot Adam Davies and Senegal’s Iliman Ndiaye could be their only representatives there.

“It’s impossible for players to play all the time,” said Heckingbottom, suggesting he could make changes at Albion. “They just can’t do it.”