Results need to improve if Paul Heckingbottom is to be named the new permanent manager of Sheffield United.
That’s according to The Mirror, who report that doubts are growing about Heckingbottom among the Blades hiearchy.
It’s already known that the 43-year-old is on the five-man shortlist of candidates to replace Chris Wilder.
The United board have been impressed with how Heckingbottom has conducted himself since taking charge as caretaker boss following Wilder’s departure.
They also like some of the things he has put into practice.
Yet unfortunately for Heckingbottom, the most important thing has become a concern – results.
The Blades have lost seven of their eight matches since he took over from Wilder.
Unless improvement is seen during the final three games, Heckingbottom could no longer be in the running.
Should Paul Heckingbottom be the next United manager?
It’s perhaps a little harsh on Heckingbottom to judge him based on results.
After all, he inherited a losing squad full of players signed by Wilder to fit a system.
Although that system is no longer getting results, it’s very tough for Heckingbottom to change it.
It’s also probably difficult to motivate players with nothing left to play for. Relegation to the Championship was confirmed five matches into Heckingbottom’s tenure.
Plus, he did secure only one of five Premier League victories this season with a 1-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.
That said, recent defeats to Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur have been as bad as the Blades have played all term.
Heckingbottom is also unlikely to be a popular choice among fans. While he is likeable and has previous managerial experience with Barnsley, Leeds United and Hibernian, he would be an underwhelming appointment.
The next three fixtures could now determine whether that becomes reality or not.