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Paul Heckingbottom reveals the message he has sent to his Sheffield United players ahead of the play-offs

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Sheffield United were able to thrash champions Fulham 4-0 on the final day in the season which has seen them finish fifth in the league. 

They now face the lottery of play-offs with them coming up against Nottingham Forest in the semi-final.

United host Forest in the first leg of the play-offs on Saturday before travelling to Nottingham the following Tuesday.

Blades boss Paul Heckingbottom has plenty of play-off experience as both a player and a coach and has secured promotion twice via the play-offs with Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday.

Therefore, he has warned his Sheffield United team that these games will be like no other. Heckingbottom told The Star: “For me, this is a whole new tournament, a whole new ball game if you like. It doesn’t feel like ‘normal’ football if you want to put it like that. The challenges are different, the pressures are different and the demands are different. It’s a cup competition with a huge prize at the end of it.

“What you do is recognise all of that but approach it in the same calm and composed manner you would always do.

“Take them for what they are and embrace them. The games they take care of themselves.”

Quiz: Which club did Sheffield United sign these 24 players from in the 2000s?

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Who did Sheffield United sign Matthew Kilgallon from in the 2000's?

The Verdict:

As Heckingbottom points out, the play-offs are games that are like no other and the pressure and expectation that will be created by the atmosphere will be different to what the players are used to.

Rather than being like stand alone games in the league, the play-off games are big occasions and the United players will have to prepare for them in a different way.

Heckingbottom’s previous play-off experience as both a player and a manager will no doubt help his side’s preparations as he will be able to prepare his team for the occasion.

However, the difficulty of the game cannot be underestimated. Forest are another good side in the league and this is sure to be a close affair.


Passionate football fan supporting Barnet FC and Newcastle United. Currently studying a masters at UCFB alongside writing for Football League World.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Paul Heckingbottom reveals the message he has sent to his Sheffield United players ahead of the play-offs

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