Former Leeds United head coach takes charge at Sheffield United following Chris Wilder exit

A familiar face has taken charge at Sheffield United.
Former Leeds United head coach Paul Heckingbottom. Pic: GettyFormer Leeds United head coach Paul Heckingbottom. Pic: Getty
Former Leeds United head coach Paul Heckingbottom. Pic: Getty

Former Leeds United boss Paul Heckingbottom has been appointed head coach of Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United until the end of the season.

The Blades parted company with manager Chris Wilder officially on Saturday night with the club sat at the foot of the Premier League table.

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Speculation had mounted over Wilder’s future on Friday, when the club’s media duties were cancelled on three occasions.

Wilder, who enjoyed great success after taking charge of his boyhood club in 2016 and guiding them from League One to the top flight, leaves with the Blades bottom of the top flight and seemingly destined for Championship football.

Tensions had reportedly risen between Wilder and club owner Abdullah Bin Musa’ad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud recently over his role and input in South Yorkshire.

Heckingbottom - who lasted just four months in the Elland Road hot seat - has been appointed as head coach until the end of the season at Bramall Lane.

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The 43-year-old enjoyed a brief spell as Whites manager after his arrival in February 2018 before his sacking in the following summer as he was replaced by Marcelo Bielsa.

Heckingbottom has previously managed at Barnsley and Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership and has been promoted from the Blades Under-23s to take charge at senior level on a temporary basis.

He will be supported by former AFC Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall, Alan Knill and United's current backroom staff until the end of the current campaign.

"It is a great honour to be considered to lead this club until the end of the season and I thank the Board for putting their trust in me," Heckingbottom said.

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"We have a lot of work to do, but have a great support network, all of whom will bring valuable knowledge and experience, as we look to finish the season strongly."

Sheffield United have lost 22 of their 28 Premier League matches this season and are bottom of the table with only 14 points – 12 points from safety with 10 matches remaining.

The Blades travel to face Leeds United at Elland Road on April 3 with Heckingbottom set to take on his former side.