Heckingbottom follows Wilder and Jokanovic in addressing Sheffield United training concerns
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Heckingbottom follows Wilder and Jokanovic in addressing Sheffield United training concerns

Sheffield United manager, Paul Heckingbottom, has followed the worrying trend of Blades managers in bemoaning the state of the training ground at the club.

Speaking after United were hammered by Coventry City yesterday, Heckingbottom was left frustrated at the amount of injuries building up within his squad. The Blades squad is currently decimated, with as many as eleven first-team players currently missing through injury.

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And Heckingbottom has bemoaned the state of the Sheffield United training pitch at Shirecliffe as he looks to find reason behind the nightmare crisis at the club.

“The big one for me is that our training pitch has been terrible this year. We came back after Fulham and had two days of rain on it and we haven’t been on it some days because it’s just been a bog,” Heckingbottom told The Star.

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“We have to address that in the summer. When you go from that type of bog – and you have to train – to these firm beautiful pitches, the change of surface does you no good. It’s something as a club we have to get right because it’s a major issue. You can’t expect anything other than trying to manage the players through this important part of the season.”

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This wasn’t Heckingbottom having a dig as such at the club, but it was a subtle way to highlight that, once again, the training ground just isn’t where it needs to be.

Of course, we’ve heard all this before. Chris Wilder consistently brought up the state of Shirecliffe and it’s common knowledge he was fuming with some aspects of the training centre. Likewise, Slavisa Jokanovic admitted he was surprised by the standard of the facilities when he arrived.

Ultimately, the board needs to address this. If it’s affecting first-team performance as Heckingbottom suggests, then it has to be a priority issue. Of course, it’s a big piece of work to sort the drainage, but it needs resolving quickly.

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