Paul Heckingbottom calls on Sheffield United to make a quick decision

SHEFFIELD UNITED interim manager Paul Heckingbottom wants the club to make a quick decision on the next full-time boss at Bramall Lane shortly after a fraught season in the Blades’ history ends on Sunday afternoon.

Relegated United play their final game of the Premier League campaign at home to Burnley and its conclusion will allow them to finally draw a line under a hugely difficult 2020-21 and turn their full attention to their next full-time appointment and squad realignment - with several players also likely to leave following the club’s return to the Championship.

Former Watford and Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic remains favourite for the position.

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Heckingbottom, likely to revert to his previous role with the under-23s squad after stepping in following the departure of Chris Wilder in March, said: “Personally - and I am not speaking for anyone other than myself - I would like a quick appointment straight after the last game because I think you can then start laying the groundwork and the manager can start convincing players to stay for some with their heads turned - and making decisions on players in terms of ins and outs.

Paul Heckingbottom. Picture: Andrew Yates/Sportimage.

“That is really important for that stability. It is the start of a new era.

“The fact that I have been in this position for quite a long time now since Chris left might have done everyone a favour in terms of everyone (being) ready now and chomping at the bit and being ready for this next era and what is it going to look like.

“If it is half as successful as Chris’s was, then the club are going to do fantastically well again. We need that call now and decision.

“In terms of the club and squad, keep it together. We have been competing in the last two games with eight or nine first-team players missing and using some of the younger players from the academy, which is the lifeblood of the club if you get that right.

“A new era and new appointment sooner rather than later to take all the positives and good things that we are planning for next season.”