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Paul Heckingbottom makes honest Sheffield United claim ahead of Fulham showdown

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Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom has admitted he believes that it is a privilege that his side will be having to deal with the pressure of qualifying for the play-offs this weekend.

When Heckingbottom was handed over the reins at Bramall Lane, the Blades were eight points adrift of the play-offs after winning just six of their opening 19 league games.

The 44-year-old has managed to transform the club’s fortunes during his permanent spell in charge as the Blades have climbed up to fifth in the Championship standings.

However, when you consider that they are only two points ahead of Middlesbrough and three points clear of Millwall who are both vying for a place in the top-six, United will need to seal a positive result in their showdown with Fulham this weekend in order to secure a place in the play-offs.

The Blades won the reverse fixture at Craven Cottage in December thanks to a superb effort from Iliman Ndiaye and will be determined to replicate this display on Saturday.

Ahead of this fixture, Heckingbottom addressed the current situation that his side find themselves in.

Speaking to The Star, Heckingbottom said: “Pressure is a privilege.

“Not a problem.

“We really want to do this.

“We really want to be in this position.

“So it’s not something we shy away from.

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Sheffield United beat Birmingham City on the opening weekend of the 2021/22 campaign

“It’s part and parcel of why we do what we do.

“If you want to succeed, as these players have shown they can, then you embrace that pressure.

“You look forward to it.

“You know it means there’s something at stake and we’re delighted that there is.”

The Verdict

When you consider that the Blades managed to cope with the pressure of having to seal a positive result in last Friday’s clash with Queens Park Rangers, there is no reason why they cannot go on to produce another impressive performance in the Championship this weekend.

Buoyed by their 3-1 triumph over the R’s, United will be keen to send out a signal of intent to the other teams in the play-offs by defeating a Fulham side who were crowned champions on Monday.

Ndiaye could once again play a key role for his side after stepping up his performance levels in recent weeks.

The 22-year-old will be brimming with confidence heading into this fixture after scoring in three of his last four league fixtures.


Freelance writer for Football League World. Previously worked for 90min & GiveMeSport.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Paul Heckingbottom makes honest Sheffield United claim ahead of Fulham showdown

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