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'Didn't come here to be a manager' - Heckingbottom ends talk of becoming Sheffield United boss

Paul Heckingbottom appears to have ended any speculation about him becoming the new manager of Sheffield United.

Heckingbottom has been in caretaker charge of the Blades since Chris Wilder left the club on March 13.

United play their final game of the season on Sunday when they host Burnley in the Premier League.

Wilder’s permanent successor is expected to be named after the match at Bramall Lane.

But Heckingbottom – who stepped up from his role as Under-23s boss to become interim – is unlikely to be the new appointment.

“Long-term I will do it (management) again, I know I will,” the 43-year-old told BBC Radio Sheffield. “When that happens I don’t know.

“But I’m happy with what I’m doing. I didn’t come here to be a manager, I came here to coach and work with players.”

Heckingbottom continued: “I knew it would be quite a long time I would be doing it as an interim or caretaker. The approach is different.

“If I was going to nail my colours to the mast, you’d come in and change absolutely everything to try and get results. But that would have been a selfish approach, I feel.

“What it has done is allowed people to see how I work, what I do. And allowed the academy players to get a bit more continuity to the first team, which we’ll try and continue to capitalise on.

“There’s definitely been benefits from me stepping up and doing it for me going back and doing the other role.”

Heckingbottom has been great, but makes right call on being manager

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Heckingbottom was drafted into the first team in difficult circumstances.

While relegation had not yet been confirmed when Wilder left, it had been widely thought the Blades would be going down for some time.

Results haven’t changed drastically under Heckingbottom, although he has secured wins at home to Brighton & Hove Albion and away to Everton.

Yet what the former Barnsley, Leeds United and Hibernian boss has done is calmed things down.

The board are said to have been impressed with how Heckingbottom has conducted himself. It’s why he was included on their initial five-man shortlist to succeed Wilder.

They have since reconsidered, with performances against Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace particularly concerning to them.

It now seems that Slavisa Jokanovic will be given the job after positive talks. Having been promoted from the Championship twice before with Watford and Fulham, it looks to be the right decision.

Meanwhile, Heckingbottom can benefit the club more by returning to doing his excellent work in the academy.

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