Sheffield United: What Paul Heckingbottom will tell Cardiff City's Steve Morison when their teams meet

Sheffield United have been warned to expect an aerial bombardment at Cardiff City tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 3:00 pm

Paul Heckingbottom, who took charge of the visitors when Slavisa Jokanovic was sacked last week, instructed his squad to be mindful of the physical threat Steve Morison’s side will pose after analysing their performances in the Championship this term.

“Cardiff have scored the most headed goals in the league by a long way,” the United manager said. “And it’s not just from set plays, it’s in open play too. So that’s something we have to be mindful of.

“We want to compete. We have to compete. But also set the tempo and make sure the game is played how we want it to be played - impose ourselves on it.”

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Like Heckingbottom, Morison is also settling into a new job after being appointed on a permanent basis by City last month. The former Wales international was a member of the Millwall team beaten by Barnsley in the 2015 League One play-off final at Wembley, when Heckingbottom was beginning his coaching career at Oakwell.

“I’d forgotten about that, I’ll wait until after to mention it,” Heckingbottom admitted to The Star on Thursday. “I’ll remind him about it.

“I was actually speaking to Steve earlier this season and I know how keen he is to test himself and learn.”

Paul Heckingbottom has taken charge of Sheffield United on a permanent basis: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

United have prepared for their visit to Cardiff 13th in the table, while the hosts are 20th.

“You are where you deserve to be at this stage,” Heckingbottom said. “Ourselves included. But we know this will be such a tough game, especially knowing what Steve is like.”

Adlene Guedioura of Watford (L) , now playing for Sheffield United, holds back Steve Morison of Millwall, who was recently appointed Cardiff City manager: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images