Why Paul Heckingbottom has "no hard feelings" with former club Leeds United ahead of Sheffield United return

Paul Heckingbottom admits he has no hard feelings about his exit from Leeds United as he prepares to return to Elland Road this weekend as manager of Sheffield United.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 11:15 am

Heckingbottom left boyhood club Barnsley to take over Leeds in early 2018, but was sacked after just four months at Elland Road and replaced by Marcelo Bielsa – who he will go head-to-head with on the touchline on Saturday.

Heckingbottom’s first game as Leeds boss was against the Blades and after stepping up to temporary United boss after the departure of Chris Wilder last month, he said: “I still speak to the ownership there, no hard feelings.

Sheffield United LIVE: Paul Heckingbottom s press conference updates ahead of Leeds clash

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“People are going to talk about it, it’s always nice to be up against a former team. Sometimes it brings an edge and sometimes you want to see people but from our point of view, it’s not worth more points so our approach will be the same.

“We know they’re good opponents but we’re looking to build on the Chelsea performance and make that the minimum, if you like, for the rest of the season.

“They’re doing great, the biggest thing for me there was there was a big energy there and it was about giving that some direction. There were people who didn’t have the right energy to take it forwards and needed a shake up, and they managed to make that happen. And they want to keep it moving forward now.”

Paul Heckingbottom at Bramall Lane in his first game as Leeds United boss: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Heckingbottom says he will be without Chris Basham and Billy Sharp for the trip to Elland Road, but Enda Stevens should train this week after returning early from Republic of Ireland duty.