Paul Heckingbottom insists that he didn’t actively want the Sheffield United job, although he admitted it would’ve been hard to turn down.
The former Leeds chief had been working with the club’s U23 side but he was promoted to the role of caretaker following Chris Wilder’s departure.
Having inherited a team struggling, relegation was inevitably confirmed under his watch but Heckingbottom did impress overall, as he restored pride for the fans and picked up some notable wins.
Therefore, it was reported that the hierarchy had considered the 43-year-old for the top job, as he had a final shortlist of five.
As we know, Slavisa Jokanovic ended up getting the job, and Heckingbottom explained to The Athletic that he has no bitterness about missing out, as he reverts back to his original role.
“If I’d wanted the job, I’d have come out and said it. That is not me disrespecting the club. If they had sat me down yesterday and said, ‘The job is yours, Paul’, then, of course, I’d have found it very hard to turn down. But I didn’t come to Sheffield United to be a manager.”
You have to say that Heckingbottom comes across very well here and he has acted professionally since he stepped up to what is a high-profile role.
Results improved under his guidance, so you can understand why the decision makers at Bramall Lane had considered him for the job on a permanent basis.
Having said that, you can also see why they’ve opted to go with Jokanovic, and Heckingbottom will now go back to his previous job, which he is clearly keen to do.
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