Sheffield United have a lot of work to do if they secure Premier League promotion - Stuart Rayner comment
What the last few weeks have underlined, though, is the work needed if they are to stay there for any more than a season.
To do that, they need to get their house in order off the field as soon as possible.
Tuesday's victory stemmed the bleeding, re-opening a seven-point gap to Middlesbrough with 11 matches to play. Brilliant though Boro have been since Michael Carrick took over in October, it will be tough to overhaul.
It is hard to go through a 46-game league season without a wobble, and three defeats in the Blades' last five Championship matches certainly constitutes that. Hopefully that is the full extent of it and Boro can win the play-offs.
It is to Heckingbottom and his coaching staff's immense credit that a club run so badly off the field this season has done so well on it. To be second in the Championship and a home win over lower-ranked opposition from a Wembley FA Cup semi-final is some going under the circumstances.
If February highlighted anything, it was how the Blades could have done with just a little refreshing in the January transfer window.
Instead, Heckingbottom's squad was weakened with Reda Khadra recalled from his loan by Brighton and Hove Albion and a transfer embargo preventing reinforcements.
It could have been worse - they could have sold the crown jewels, Iliman Ndiaye and/or Sander Berge, to clear debts and with it their embargo. That would have been a crushing blow to team morale.
To be in that position was not a good look. Premier League parachute payments are a necessary evil when the financial chasm between the top two divisions is so wide but this competition-skewing mechanism is harder to justify when clubs take the money and still do not pay their transfer debts.
It is something United must sort out, preferably before the season ends. With the current ownership having failed on that score, that more than likely means pushing through the sale of the club.
Promotion will mean a huge injection of cash but waiting until then will create more problems.
Oli McBurnie, Oliver Norwood, Wes Foderingham, Billy Sharp, Jack Robinson, John Fleck, Ben Osborn, Enda Stevens, Ismaila Coulibaly, Daniel Jebbison and Jack O'Connell are out of contract this summer, as are youngsters Kyron Gordon, Femi Seriki and Jordan Assimah. James McAtee, Tommy Doyle and Ciaran Clark are only on loan.
The transfer embargo means none can be offered new contracts or in some cases even have pre-agreed automatic one-year extensions triggered.
They can technically only speak to clubs outside England until May but if you think that will stop any conversations, I am guessing you also believe in the tooth fairy.
Whatever your view of each individual, it is a big chunk of the squad to replace before you even start to think about upgrades for a higher standard of football.
If the embargo is lifted under the current ownership, whose scrimping means the undersoil heating supposed to be installed at the training ground last summer is still not up and running, how many will be rushing to re-sign? How easy will it be to attract high-calibre players or retain others? The 2020-21 relegation was demoralising for everyone involved, they will not want to go through that again.
The sale of the club quietly fell through last summer and now Henry Mauriss is reportedly in jail in America for fraud. They have hopefully picked better this time in Dozy Mmobuosi but the Football League's seemingly exasperated public plea for more information did not exactly inspire confidence in his proposed £90m takeover.
Meanwhile, there is a squad which needs strengthening.
The defeats to Middlesbrough, Millwall and Blackburn Rovers showed a group requiring a bit more than the tinkering around the edges after the last promotion, when most of the recruits could not break into the side. The Blades look more like a very good Championship side than an out-of-place Premier League one like Burnley or Sheffield Wednesday, the equivalent a division down.
Much of the experience and nous which gives belief the Blades can ride out the Championship storm does not come with the vitality needed to flourish in the Premier League.
Many of the core of Chris Wilder's ninth-placed Premier League squad were also in the relegation campaign that followed. All are in their 30s now, bar McBurnie and O'Connell, who has not played since because of cruciate knee ligament damage. Some of the wise heads will be useful around the training ground and dressing room, but few can still be top-flight first choices.
Just for starters they look in need of an upgrade at left-sided centre-back and probably wing-back. Norwood needs a ball-winner alongside him who can allow him to play and as almost always when a team goes up from the Championship, a reliable goalscorer would make such a difference.
If character and fighting spirit can get the Blades promotion despite those above them, it cannot disguise the deficiencies that will need to be addressed.