Paul Heckingbottom explains Iliman Ndiaye absence as United win at Cardiff
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Paul Heckingbottom explains Iliman Ndiaye absence as United win at Cardiff

Paul Heckingbottom made it two wins from two as Sheffield United manager, with the Blades coming from behind to win 3-2 at Cardiff City this afternoon.

A masterclass performance from Morgan Gibbs-White ensured United fought their way back against ten-man Cardiff to run out winners. The Wolves loanee scoring and setting two up to leave Blades fans purring.

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Heckingbottom replaced the injured Rhian Brewster with Billy Sharp today. The Blades boss confirmed afterwards that Brewster has damaged his hamstring, and the club are awaiting a third opinion. Another notable absentee from the game was young forward, Iliman Ndiaye.

Depth

After being a regular starter under Slavisa Jokanovic, Ndiaye has yet to get on the pitch under Hecky. But the United boss, speaking to Football Heaven, allayed any fears that there is injury worries with the youngster.

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“No, no injury. He was in and travelled. It’s not a reflection of he’s 19th man, you know. He could just as easily start next week in the place of someone else,” Heckingbottom said.

“Just the bodies we wanted on the pitch. With the height to defend set plays and also with the pace which is why we had Moose on there. Yeah, it was just a tactical decision.”

The United manager once again spoke about the depth of the Blades squad. The likes of Sander Berge didn’t play again, but Heckingbottom admitted he wants everyone to be ready and get a chance.

Our View: Quality shining through for this Sheffield United squad…finally

It might just be two games in, but it’s already obvious was Slavisa Jokanovic was getting wrong. Suddenly, this United team has a desire, hunger, and fight back within the camp to win games. Coming from behind today, albeit against ten-men, showed that.

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Beyond that, the squad looks brilliant. Those we’ve mentioned didn’t get on today, but beyond the matchday squad, the quality is there. Players like Burke, Fleck, Norrington-Davies, and Guedioura all not even involved. Beyond those, young stars like Zak Brunt, Antwoine Hackford, and Frankie Maguire are all pushing.

Heckingbottom must be delighted with the players at his disposal. And with momentum now back in the camp, there is every chance this Blades squad pushes up the table now.

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