Leeds the only focus for Heckingbottom

02 April 2021 21:14:40 GMTPlus10

Sheffield United interim manager Paul Heckingbottom insists he is not looking beyond Saturday's Yorkshire derby clash with former club Leeds United at Elland Road.

Heckingbottom, who spent four months in charge of Leeds in 2018, was appointed as interim boss until the end of the season after the Blades parted company with long-serving manager Chris Wilder in March.

The Blades have lost their opening two games under Heckingbottom, suffering a 5-0 Premier League defeat at Leicester before losing their FA Cup quarter-final clash at Chelsea 2-0.

United finished ninth in their debut season in the Premier League, but they are suffering from second-season syndrome.

The Blades are rooted to the foot of the Premier League table with just 14 points collected from their 29 matches, 14 points adrift of survival, and a return to the Championship is looking increasingly certain.

Heckingbottom is due to return to his job as the Under-23 manager this summer, but is fully committed to his current role at the club.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, Heckinbottom said: "If anyone asks me a question about Sheffield United I'll give them my answer based on what's right for the club. If I owned a football club every employee would be expected to behave that way.

"My focus is on Leeds United, then it will shift. It's on these next eight games, the players I'm working with, that's it."

He added: "It's about getting as much as we can out of these last eight games and as much information as I can to pass onto the relevant people next season."

Sheffield United will have Enda Stevens available for the trip to Leeds, but Chris Basham and Sander Berge remain sidelined, while John Egan is lacking match practice.

The Blades are 6.00 for victory at Leeds, who are 1.53, with the draw a 4.20 chance.

The Sheffield club are 1001.00 to avoid Premier League relegation.

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