The Blades looked to be staying in the Championship after a poor spell under Slavisa Jokanovic, before Paul Heckingbottom stepped up from the under 23’s to guide the club into the top six.
Heckingbottom was unable to prevent the club from dropping into the second tier last season before stepping back into his under 23s role when Jokanovic was appointed.
Now, the club are within three games of a return to the Premier League, something Heckingbottom is proud of, telling the Daily Mirror: “I want to assure our amazing fans that we’re fully committed to helping the team achieve its goals and make you feel proud.”
With Heckingbottom taking over when the club was 16th, it seemed unlikely they would mount a promotion challenge and despite an injury crisis, the former Barnsley and Leeds boss has delivered just that.
However, the playoffs come as a nervous opportunity for Blades supporters, with the club historically having a poor record in them, having seen eight previous attempts lead to failure to win promotion.
Heckingbottom though is keen to end that hoodoo, saying: “It’s irrelevant, it really is.
“To fans it’s not but different players, different staff, different occasion, different opponents it’s different. People like to look at these things and records, all the stats about previous histories.
“I don’t understand why people read into it, it’s a whole new game, new set of players, new opponents. It might be things the crowd think about, but not to us.”
The words from Heckingbottom should strike confidence in supporters even with their record. Brentford were another side who had a poor record in the playoffs before beating Swansea last season.
With Heckinbottom shrugging it off, it should reassure supporters. In addition to that, he has previous with Barnsley, guiding them into the Championship from League One, so he’ll know what it takes to win a playoff campaign.
Nonetheless, it’s a huge game and massive opportunity for the Blades, one that will not be passed up.