Sky Sports pundit warns that Sheffield United should not be written off in Championship promotion battle

Sky Sports pundit Clinton Morrison feels Sheffield United's squad is good enough to challenge for the automatic promotion places and has hailed Paul Heckingbottom for turning the club's fortunes around.

Heckingbottom replaced Slavisa Jokanovic at Bramall Lane at the end of November and has helped guide the Blades into play-off contention.

Since his arrival, only Huddersfield Town have claimed more points than the Blades and Morrison believes the club have a "great chance" of securing an immediate return to the top flight.

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Morrison, who spent two years at the Blades' city rivals Sheffield Wednesday, feels Heckingbottom's appointment is exactly what the club needed - after they sat 16th in the table under Jokanovic before he was dismissed.

"I think the players respect him [Heckingbottom] because he's been in and around the academy and when Chris Wilder was there, he was in and around it as well," Morrison told FreeSuperTips.

"When it's not working under a different manager and then suddenly, they come back into the fold under a new manager, then you get that bounce.

"The squad of players that Sheffield United have, they shouldn't have been where they were, they should have been challenging for the top two.

"You have to credit Heckingbottom, he's gone in there and done a fantastic job.

TURNAROUND: Paul Heckingbottom has guided Sheffield United into play-off contention. Picture: Will Matthews/PA Wire.

"Morgan Gibbs-White has been outstanding and Billy Sharp is still scoring goals, 15 goals for the season is fantastic from Billy Sharp.

"You never write off Sheffield United because they're in and amongst it at the moment and they have a great chance to get back into the Premier League where they want to be."

The Blades remain in the top six despite a disappointing 4-1 defeat at Coventry City on Saturday. They take on Blackpool on Tuesday night before a South Yorkshire derby against Barnsley at Bramall Lane on Saturday.