Paul Heckingbottom on 'bright' Sheffield United defender and praise for weekend opponents Luton

ALL successful promotion sides have their fair share of unsung heroes.

Sheffield United are still a way off before celebrating a return to the Premier League, but should they do that, expect a few backslaps in the direction of Jack Robinson.

The reliable defender, who turns 30 later this year, is one of those low-maintenance, senior professionals who have served United so well in recent years.

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He may not get the credit he merits off supporters, yet his value in the dressing-room circles is high.

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom (left) with Jack Robinson (right).Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom (left) with Jack Robinson (right).
Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom (left) with Jack Robinson (right).

The former Liverpool player slugged it out with one of the Championship's most physically imposing players in midweek in Andy Carroll.

He not only lived to tell the tale, but bettered the veteran in United's key 1-0 victory at Reading, which re-stablished their seven-point cushion above third-placed Middlesbrough.

Boss Paul Heckingbottom said: "Robbo has good spells last season as well. He's another one who understands what he does better than other people and brings that to the team.

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"Robbo is a really strong defender and is a bright footballer as well and he knows and 'gets' the game and can be really influential with the information he gives his mates on the pitch."

On Saturday, United host a fifth-placed Luton side who are unbeaten away from home at league level since December and Heckingbottom says he is not surprised that the Bedfordshire club are making another push for promotion for the second season running, like his own side.

Heckingbottom, who has confirmed that Iliman Ndiaye, James McAtee and Jayden Bogle will be available for the key encounter at Bramall Lane, added: "I think when you are clear in recruiting and adding players, you keep building and that is what Luton have done.

"It's always been a difficult place to go and I know in terms of results at the start of the season, the home form was what was letting them down and they have put that right.

"They were one of the teams, at the start of the season, who I said I expected to be up there and you are finding that now in the league table."