Sheffield United prove Paul Heckingbottom's point in losing three with late lapses

Paul Heckingbottom said Sheffield United's 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur was a reminder – albeit a very harsh one – of why he is so finickity about defending.

Seven minutes into stoppage time at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, his Blades were heading for their first victory back in the Premier League, courtesy of Gustavo Hamer's cool finish.

When the final whistle eventually blew, Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski had rescued three points. Both Spurs goals owed something to defending out of character with what went before.

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"It's a reminder about why we do things," said Heckingbottom.

"What you can't do is ignore the first 90 minutes but that's why we bang on about it (defensive concentration). This is why I'm going to go mad about marking in front, why I'm going to go mad about tracking runners or being beaten by a one-two.

"If we'd got the result you'd have been saying how well we've played. My reflection of the game would still be the same.

"But we're trying to improve.

"I would have loved a reward for everyone and the work the staff, the players put in.

DETAILS: Sheffield United manager Paul HeckingbottomDETAILS: Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom
DETAILS: Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom

"That's a reminder of how tough this league is."

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Heckingbottom can probably expect to hear from the Football Association this week after a rant about the standard of refereeing this season in a game which saw Oli McBurnie sent off for dissent in the 14th added minute, following an earlier caution for a foul.

"I get concerned about where the game's going," said Heckingbottom. "It's not me moaning about Sheffield United, I'm moaning about football.

"(Referees) don't know what they're doing because they don't understand the game."