Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom reveals discussions with Prince Abdullah and Stephen Bettis - plus a fitness boost ahead of West Ham game

SHEFFIELD UNITED manager Paul Heckingbottom has revealed that he held discussions with Blades owner Prince Abdullah and chief executive officer Stephen Bettis after Sunday's humiliating 8-0 loss to Newcastle United - the club's record league defeat in their history.

The Blades imploded in the second half of the Premier League encounter in particular at a stunned Bramall Lane with Heckingbottom and his players and staff facing a huge test of their character at West Ham on Saturday.

Heckingbottom, who said that the messages from the club’s hierarchy were ones of support despite an awful result, said: "Prince Abdullah was on the phone to me straight after the game, we speak regularly, that is not an issue.

"The support is there, I spoke to Stephen as well.

Sheffield United's manager Paul Heckingbottom reacts to their defeat on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Sheffield United and Newcastle United at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, northern England on September 24, 2023. Newcastle won the game 8-0. (Photo by Darren Staples / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images)Sheffield United's manager Paul Heckingbottom reacts to their defeat on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Sheffield United and Newcastle United at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, northern England on September 24, 2023. Newcastle won the game 8-0. (Photo by Darren Staples / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images)
Sheffield United's manager Paul Heckingbottom reacts to their defeat on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Sheffield United and Newcastle United at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, northern England on September 24, 2023. Newcastle won the game 8-0. (Photo by Darren Staples / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images)
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We understand we need to be better, we are all in agreement on that. We need to be a team that suffered these results and goes on to achieve their goal, which in our case is to stay in the division.

"I think we still had to reflect on it properly. There has been some things from there that are big reminders.

"The margins are so fine and we know how well we have to play if we are going to win.

"It was a tough day, capping off a tough week for everyone."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Midfielder John Fleck, promoted on two occasions with the Blades, is back in training following his eve-of-season injury, Heckingbottom confirmed.

The Scot suffered a leg fracture in the eve-of-season friendly with Girona, which required an operation.

Gus Hamer, who was substituted to protect a slight thigh niggle on Sunday, is available for the trip to the capital, while Oli McBurnie is back from suspension.

Heckingbottom added: "Oli is back from his suspension and Gus is that little bit better. He was carrying something last week.

"John trained today and it's good for Flecky, having obviously had that broken leg in pre-season. That's another one back. There's no-one else to add to the injuries."