Sheffield United’s stance on Paul Heckingbottom’s future after record Newcastle United defeat

Boss’s Blades future had been talked about already before 8-0 hammering by Newcastle
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Sheffield United’s stance on the future of manager Paul Heckingbottom remains unchanged despite their 8-0 hammering at the hands of Newcastle United this afternoon. The Blades sank to the bottom of the table after yet more defensive concerns saw the Magpies run riot.

Heckingbottom’s future had already been the source of some speculation over the week after a report last weekend that he was on the brink of being sacked, with former boss Chris Wilder lined up to make a sensational return to Bramall Lane as his replacement. Those reports were wide of the mark and The Star understands that today’s defeat does not alter the Blades’ stance but United now have one point and five defeats from six league games so far this season.

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They had been in every one until their Newcastle demolition but the scale of the Premier League challenge had already been laid bare before Eddie Howe’s men ran riot at Bramall Lane. United must now pick themselves up and ensure that the fallout from this defeat does not linger, ahead of next weekend’s trip to West Ham.

“It’s rounded off a real bad week for everyone at the club,” said Heckingbottom, just days after the passing of women’s midfielder and Blades marketing executive Maddy Cusack was announced at just 27 years of age. “It’s a tough one. We dropped below our performance. The first half cost us. Restarts - they scored from a corner and a wide free-kick and we were 3-0 down to a very good team.

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“Then it’s difficult. We lost the game, we know we’re going to lose games but as long as we take from that game and realise that everything we’ve done to turn this club around and be successful, we didn’t do that in the second half and so we have to learn from that. We have competed in every game. We could and should have had more points but we haven’t and that’s how tough it is.

“First half, it was simple. Restrats and set plays and we were 3-0 down. We knew it’d be an open game and we changed the way we played, we had to make changes at half-time but what we saw in the second half, we have to make sure we address.”