The Paul Heckingbottom era got off to the perfect start on Sunday afternoon at Bramall Lane as Sheffield United ran out convincing 2-0 winners over Bristol City.
The Blades dominated the contest and goals from Rhian Brewster and Billy Sharp led to the three points being picked up, moving United up to 13th in the Championship.
A lot has been made of the Blades’ hierarchy’s decision to part company with Slavisa Jokanovic after less than half a season in charge and replacing him with ex-Barnsley and Leeds manager Heckingbottom.
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The 44-year-old has signed a contract until 2026 which has bemused many but he’s not the only new manager in the Championship, with Saturday’s opponents Cardiff City choosing their own under-23’s manager Steve Morison to replace Mick McCarthy.
And the former Leeds and Millwall striker has managed to reinvigorate the Bluebirds, who have won three of their last four matches and will welcome the Yorkshire side to the Cardiff City Stadium full of confidence that they can pick up the win.
That’s not how EFL pundit David Prutton sees it going down though as he envisages a 2-1 victory on the road for United to give Heckingbottom back-to-back wins.
“Steve Morison is leading this Cardiff side pretty well,” Prutton said on his Sky Sports predictions podcast.
“They showed great character to get that win at Luton last week and now have three wins from four.
“Sheffield United got a win under Paul Heckingbottom in his first game in charge.
“They are on the cusp of the top half now and need to keep it going to force their way back towards the top six. I think they could edge this.”
Sheffield United’s performance against Bristol City was definitely a positive one and showed that there are reasons to be optimistic going into this one.
But Cardiff on their own turf will pose a much tougher test to break down – although the Bluebirds did succumb to Hull City just last week.
Their general form has been on an upward curve since Morison replaced McCarthy in the dugout though and they’ll fancy their chances of getting a result.
I’ll sit on the fence with this one though and go with a 1-1 draw in the Welsh capital.