Sheffield United set to axe Paul Heckingbottom in first Premier League sacking of 2023/24 season
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Paul Heckingbottom is set to be sacked by Sheffield United today, talkSPORT understands.

The Blades sit rock bottom of the Premier League table and four points from safety after a run of one win from their opening 14 games.

Sheffield United have four points from 14 games

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Sheffield United have four points from 14 gamesCredit: Getty

Heckingbottom has been on the brink for several weeks but Blades owner Prince Abdullah’s patience has finally snapped.

The Englishman will become the first Premier League sacking of the 2023/24 season.

Former United boss Chris Wilder is the leading contender to replace Heckingbottom.

Five Premier League managers were sacked by this time last season and Heckingbottom had even survived an 8-0 humiliation at home to Newcastle in September.

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However, the 46-year-old’s two-year reign at Bramall Lane will end following Saturday’s 5-0 drubbing at relegation rivals Burnley.

Heckingbottom first took interim charge of the Blades in March 2021 after Wilder was sacked but could not prevent relegation to the Championship.

He was then appointed permanent boss in November 2021 after Skavisa Jokanovic was given his marching orders.

In his two years in charge, Heckingbottom suffered play-off heartbreak in 2022 before sealing automatic promotion to the Premier League the next season.

Heckingbottom's time is up

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Heckingbottom’s time is upCredit: AFP

But the former Barnsley and Leeds boss did not deliver a top-flight point in the 2023/24 season until a 2-1 victory over Wolves in November.

A recent draw away at ten-man Brighton is the only other point United have collected this term.

Damaging defeats against relegation rivals Bournemouth and Burnley proved the final straw.

In a short press conference at Turf Moor on Saturday, a disappointed Heckingbottom gave a damning assessment of his team’s efforts.

He said: “There were moments in this game where we were second best in competing.

“In this league, regardless of the level – and if you’re not good enough because the step up is too big, you can hold your hands up – but if you want a career at this level, if you want to stay here as a group, you have to embrace the league and the challenge of it.

“As I said, you can’t kid anyone and people know who is playing without fear and playing with the freedom and the excitement with what the Premier League should bring.”





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