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'What next?' - Jermaine Jenas describes fear many Sheffield United fans probably now have

Jermaine Jenas has voiced the fear that many Sheffield United fans probably now have.

Jenas was speaking as a pundit on Match of the Day 2 after the Blades were beaten 5-0 at Leicester City in the Premier League.

That hammering at the King Power Stadium came less than 24 hours after it was confirmed Chris Wilder had left the club.

After almost five years, two promotions and a highest league finish since 1992, Wilder is no longer manager at Bramall Lane.

The performance against Leicester reflected a group of players completely deflated by the news.

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Most United supporters have likely come to terms with the fact their team will be playing in the Championship next season.

After the highs of finishing ninth last term in their first top flight campaign in 12 years, 2020/21 has been a very different experience.

The South Yorkshire side are rock bottom with 14 points. They’re the same amount from safety with nine league games left to play.

Yet with Wilder at the helm, there was genuine belief the Blades could bounce back at the first time of asking next term.

Now, as Jenas aptly puts it, what next?

Jermaine Jenas on worry among Sheffield United fanbase

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“The fear is now, what next?” Jenas said. “This feels like a team to me now which could be completely dismantled.

“I think Chris Wilder was the one who dragged them up from League One and held them all together. They’ve lost that now.”

Under-23s boss Paul Heckingbottom is in charge of the first team until the end of the season.

However, Heckingbottom made it clear after Sunday’s defeat that he doesn’t want the job permanently.

That may be a different story for Jason Tindall, who arrives at United today to work alongside the 43-year-old.

Tindall was sacked as Bournemouth manager after six months earlier this campaign. Prior to that he helped the Cherries rise from League Two to the Premier League as assistant to Eddie Howe.

Howe himself is among the bookmakers’ early favourites to succeed Wilder. Derek McInnes has been linked with the job after leaving Aberdeen and several other names are likely to emerge in the coming weeks.

Yet replacing Wilder will be no easy task, with the squad and their success very much built in his image.

When the 53-year-old took the Blades back to the top flight in 2019 it had been 12 years since they were last there. There’s a fear that it could now be the same amount of time – or longer – before they return.

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