Sheffield United chief Paul Heckingbottom on battle between Sander Berge, John Fleck, Oli Norwood & Conor Hourihane

SHEFFIELD UNITED manager Paul Heckingbottom admits he is delighted to have a selection dilemma in the middle ground as he picks from what many observers would consider to be one of the - if not the - strongest central midfield in the Championship.

Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage)
Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage)

Heckingbottom, whose side welcome Hull City on Tuesday night, went with Sander Berge and John Fleck in the middle of the park at Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

In last Wednesday's home victory over West Brom, the Blades chief started with Oli Norwood and Conor Hourihane.

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Norwood came on in the second half at Town at the weekend, while Hourihane was an unused substitute, with Heckingbottom also likely to be conscious of his side's intense schedule of games and the option to freshen it up.

On his midfield options -and some welcome selection issues in that regard which he does not mind - Heckingbottom said: "I thought that was a good performance at the weekend but the one thing is that they (Norwood and Hourihane) not lost together as a pairing (starting a league game).

"But we know how good Sander and Flecky are, they’re chomping at the bit to get past them and get in the team. It gives us options, and it’s a strong position for us at the minute.

"Ollie and Conor bring a real voice on the pitch and use their brains by giving instructions out there.

"You always want more from everyone, they(Fleck and Berge) set both goals up at Birmingham and helped us win the game. They’re performing well and it’s a strong position for us. four really good players, all with different qualities.

"And they’re not only performing well in games, they’re training hard and that’s what is probably bringing the best out of them all."

On the prospect of rotating again versus Hull, Heckingbottom commented: "It’ll depend. For this schedule we’ve got now, I think it’s vitally important but there are moments it calms down.

"There’s not always a need to. We wouldn’t be doing it if the players weren’t performing. They deserve to play. But you’ve got to reward the team that’s winning and performing week on week as well.

"There’s no necessity, we’re just ensuring we don’t come unstuck further down the line by stretching someone when there’s no need."

And on the threat posed by Hull, who have lost their last three games but who recently won against the high-flying duo of Blackburn Rovers and Bournemouth, Heckingbottom added: "There’s been upheaval, but they responded well to the new manager and had a couple of dodgy results there. But they’re a dangerous side and they’ll have a game plan to come and hurt us.

"They will be coming for the win. They commit bodies to try and score goals, so we have to be wary of that but we focus on ourselves and the way we approach the game. We’ll prepare for them and what they throw us, but we’ll focus on us and what we have to do to beat them."