The unwanted record Sheffield United will be motivated to avoid when they face Burnley on Sunday

Paul Heckingbottom admits that Sheffield United will take added motivation from their quest to not set an unwanted Premier League record when they face Burnley, despite insisting his side can’t go into the game with a “fear about statistics”.

Saturday, 22nd May 2021, 1:00 pm

United’s 1-0 defeat at Newcastle in midweek was their 29th of the season, equalling the record for the most losses in a single Premier League season alongside Ipswich Town, Sunderland and Derby County.

So defeat on Sunday would see them set the record outright, inking their name in the record books for the wrong reasons.

Asked if avoiding that ignominy is extra motivation for his side against Sean Dyche’s men, Heckingbottom added: “Of course it is, but we can’t go in there with fear about statistics.

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“The only one that matters is the goals.

“I did an interview the other day and the interviewer was just throwing stats at me. The stat that matters is the goals and that has to be our focus rather than being scared of avoiding things.

“We know our fate in terms of where we’ll play but it won’t be any easier in the Championship. I’ve told the players that. But if they work as hard as they have done this season, then they’ll be fine.”

Sheffield United fans will return to Bramall Lane this weekend (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The Blades will also receive added motivation when they kick off against Burnley as they will be backed by their own fans in person for the first time since March last year.

United announced that just over 5,000 tickets would be made available for the game, although fans have widely criticised the club for charging £40 and £20 for adult and junior tickets respectively.