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'Really sad' - Paul Heckingbottom on Chris Wilder exit and 'angry' Sheffield United players

Paul Heckingbottom says the Sheffield United players are “emotional” following the departure of Chris Wilder.

Wilder left his position as manager on Saturday evening after almost five years in charge.

Many of the current squad have risen through the divisions with the 53-year-old and there was a strong connection between them.

Under-23s boss Heckingbottom will manage the Blades until the end of the season, assisted by Alan Knill and new appointment Jason Tindall.

The 43-year-old’s stint didn’t start well, losing his first game in charge 5-0 to Leicester City.

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It was a result and performance to cap off a miserable weekend all round for the club.

Paul Heckingbottom on the Chris Wilder effect

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The official statement from United confirming Wilder’s exit riled some fans with its brief thanks to the man who led them from League One to the top flight.

Considering all that he achieved after becoming Blades boss in 2016, it came across as cold and bureacratic.

However, in his first post-match interview as manager, Heckingbottom gave a far better tribute to Wilder.

As well as explaining how his departure has affected the players.

“It’s not been nice. I came to this club to work with Chris and now that’s over and it’s really sad,” Heckingbottom said after the Leicester loss, as quoted by Yorkshire Live.

“It’s an emotional one. Those players shared a lot of good times with Chris.

“They’re angry with the performance from the events for both players and staff. It’s emotional, you can understand that.

“I have spoken to Chris. He is really supportive and wishing the players all the best.

“He loves this club.”

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