Immediate return the goal for Blades

18 April 2021 18:07:35 GMTPlus10

Interim boss Paul Heckingbottom says Sheffield United will target an immediate return to the Premier League after their relegation was confirmed.

The Blades slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Wolves on Saturday and have been relegated to the Championship after two seasons in the top flight.

Chris Wilder took charge of the Bramall Lane club in 2016 when they were in League One and led them to the Premier League three years later.  The Blades finished ninth last season, but Wilder left last month with the club bottom of the table with just 14 points from 28 ghames and Heckingbottom stepped in as interim manager.

Heckingbottom says the club should try and keep the squad intact as they look to win promotion next season.

"It has to be the goal to come straight back," he said, as reported by the BBC.

"This incredible journey started in League One. Look at Norwich, Watford, Bournemouth, who are doing well after they got relegated last season. Keeping the group together has to be a priority."

Heckingbottom says the players are disappointed after their survival fight was brought to an end, but the former Barnsley boss says the club has to look forward.

"There's a lot of hurt in that dressing room," he added. "That game encapsulates our season.

"Everyone knows and we have to look forward. We have to behave in the correct way, on and off the pitch. Careers are at stake. The fight is there but we have come up short."

Heckingbottom has been unable to add to the Blades' point tally in four games in charge and they have only managed one goal during his brief tenure so far.

The 43-year-old is unlikely to be in charge at the start of next season, with the club looking for a new permanent manager as they bid to bounce back at the first attempt.

The Blades face Brighton in their next Premier League fixture and they are 6.00 to pick up a first win under Heckingbottom and 4.00 to draw.

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