Paul Heckingbottom says Sheffield United 'chomping at the bit' to put things right after uncharacteristic performance

Paul Heckingbottom says his players are "chomping at the bit" to show the real Sheffield United after the performance he felt was furthest from what he demands during his time as manager.

The Blades lost 1-0 at Luton Town on Saturday, their fourth defeat in six Championship matches.

There is no time to dwell on it with a difficult game at Sunderland on Wednesday. By then third-placed Middlesbrough could have closed the gap to the automatic promotion places to a point if the Teessiders win at home to Stoke City on Tuesday.

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There have been some strong words since about what the Blades produced on Saturday.

"That for me is the furthest away from how we want to play since I've been here in terms of the energy of the team, how positive we were with the ball, it was miles away from where we want to be," said Heckingbottom, who took over in November 2021.

"That was reflected in the physical stats on the high-intensity output, which is a big part of our game.

"The easiest thing to put right is that. We want the energy and an intensity to how we perform and we want to take more risks when we have the ball.

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"If we perform well and play the way we want to play and don't win so be it, we accept that.

UNHAPPY: Sheffield United manager Paul HeckingbottomUNHAPPY: Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom
UNHAPPY: Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom

"We were too safe in the first half against Luton and we didn't play with the intensity and the drive and take enough risks to go on and win it regardless of what any stats say.

"We weren't pleased with how we performed."

Heckingbottom has the same squad to choose from and he has been pleased with the response he has had at Shirecliffe, albeit he knows that what they do at the Stadium of Light is all that really matters.

"There were the usual knocks you get after games but everyone was on the grass," he said.

"I think everyone's as determined as each other to put that result and performance right so everyone was chomping at the bit to be on the grass today."