Paul Heckingbottom has not written off Sheffield United's season - but do not expect big January spending

Paul Heckingbottom says he has not written off Sheffield United's promotion hopes after taken on an expanded role at Bramall Lane.

But the former Barnsley and Leeds United manager has told fans to expect more outgoings than incomings during the January transfer window.

Heckingbottom's predecessor Slavisa Jokanovic has been sacked, with the Blades insisting it was as much about the long-terrm strategic plan as his 22 games in charge, only eight of which were won.

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Whereas Jokanovic was the first-team coach, Heckingbottom's job title is manager - not first-team manager, but football manager - with a brief to control all aspects of the football operation.

NEW MANAGER: Paul Heckingbottom is in charge at Sheffield United in an expanded roleNEW MANAGER: Paul Heckingbottom is in charge at Sheffield United in an expanded role
NEW MANAGER: Paul Heckingbottom is in charge at Sheffield United in an expanded role

"I'm not writing this season off, 100 per cent not," said Paul Heckingbottom, who stepped up from under-23 manager to take caretaker control for the final 11 matches of last season.

"Sometimes the problem's unmotivated players and unmotivated players aren't going to get us where we need to be.

"I've been in this position and said these things before - sometimes it's more important to get players out than in. I'm not saying that's going to happen but it's a long time before January.

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"I believe in this group of players. There my be outs more than ins.

"You're not going to take everyone with you, you know that. There's going to be others fall by the wayside, it's a matter of fact and that opens the door for someone else."

Heckingbottom will be assisted by Stuart McCall, and has promoted Jack Lester from the academy to first-team coaching staff. A third, as yet unidentified coach, will join them.

"It's very sudden but I've probably been on an informal interview for about 18 months," said Heckingbottom.

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"We're always about these sorts of things - sustainability of the club and just improvements in every department.

"When you're removed from a manager's position it's easier to make those recommendations, when you're in the manager's position it's about the next game but all these things are common-sense to me when you run a football club.

"There's two ways you're going to achieve success - one is by throwing money at it from a bottomless pit and the other is by creating success.

"I could feel it when I walked into this club 18 months ago, this club had taken off but everything had been put at the top end. There is a gap now between where we got to and the infrastructure, the people and the facilities to getthere again but when we do, sustain that.

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"The club always have to think long-term. In five years time if someone else is sitting here, they might feel the benefits. That's the aim.

"My aim is to help try and achieve that but win on Sunday and the week after.

"There's a short-term aim for me and that's promotion. I honestly believe this group of players should be higher up and can be higher up. I believe in them. That is my focus.

"I can talk about strategy until the cows come home, I believe in that but the short-term, the players, the squad, the immediate staff and Bristol CIty on Sunday is the immediate aim."

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