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A note of thanks to Paul Heckingbottom as Sheffield United appoint Jokanovic

It wasn’t always brilliant, it wasn’t the greatest audition in the world, but Paul Heckingbottom deserves a huge amount of credit at Sheffield United.

Thrust into the limelight when Chris Wilder surprisingly left the club in March, the interim Blades boss has gone about his business with class, integrity, and honesty.

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That’s all we could ask from him, really. Heckingbottom was placed into an almost impossible situation when Wilder left. Wilder had built the club up from rock bottom, with his fingerprints all over everything at Bramall Lane.

Perhaps harshly, United fans – including myself – judged Heckingbottom immediately and couldn’t fathom what he was doing. There was no change in shape, barely any change in personnel, and some of the performances were limp, at best.

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But over time, Heckingbottom has turned things round. Well, he’s at least steadied what was an extremely rocky ship.

Why Paul Heckingbottom deserves credit at Sheffield United

In all honesty, nobody really wanted Heckingbottom to get the job, did they?

And in fairness to him, he said all along he didn’t want it either. He was placed on the dreaded ‘short-list’ by those above, but went about his business as usual.

Three wins in his full nine games in charge is admirable. As his willingness to promote the young players. Daniel Jebbison is the big beneficiary, as we know.

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But the likes of Femi Seriki, Zak Brunt, Iliman Ndiaye, and Ky Gordon have all been in and around the squad. That wasn’t really happening under Wilder, so Heckingbottom deserves a nod there.

With Jokanovic now in the building, Heckingbottom should be allowed to focus back on the 23s. It would be a crying shame to see him have to walk away. Although, as things stand, there’s no valid reason for him to do so.

On a positive day for Sheffield United Football Club, it’s important we recognise people like Heckingbottom. Is he the greatest manager in the world? No.

But is he someone who stepped in at a time of crisis and did what was needed for Sheffield United? Yes he is.

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