Ex-Premier League manager ‘lined up for return’ as Sheff Utd boss Heckingbottom at risk of first sacking of season

SHEFFIELD UNITED are considering SACKING manager Paul Heckingbottom and bringing back former head coach Chris Wilder after a winless start to their Premier League season, according to reports.

The Blades have struggled since returning to the top flight, picking up just one point from their opening five games.

Paul Heckingbottom is under pressure after taking one point from five league gamesGetty

Chris Wilder is being tipped for a possible return to Bramall LaneGetty

Heckingbottom, 46, who has been in charge since November 2021, looked set to claim a first victory of the campaign on Saturday away at Tottenham.

But they spurned a 1-0 lead as Spurs scored twice in stoppage time to clinch a dramatic late win.

According to The Mail, there is now increasing pressure on Heckingbottom – who led Sheffield United to automatic promotion last season.

And if he is dismissed, ex-Blades boss Wilder, 55, is being lined up for a return to Bramall Lane.

Under Wilder, Sheffield United went from League One to the Premier League and finished ninth in their first season in the top flight.

Wilder was sacked in March 2021 after five years at the club, with the team having amassed just 14 points from 28 games.

However, he remains a popular figure among the fans and would likely be widely accepted by the Sheffield United faithful.

Meanwhile, Heckingbottom launched an astonishing rant at referee Paul Bankes following his side’s loss to Tottenham.

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Six of the visitors’ players received bookings and Ollie McBurnie was sent off in the final moments of the game – receiving a second yellow for dissent.

Heckingbottom said: “Something needs to be done now.

“This is not me moaning, I said it at half-time and when we were 1-0 up as well. The focus is on time-wasting, so the referees are dictating how we play.

“We set up from the back, then Spurs push forward and then that dictates how we play. But no, we’re just told to ‘play long’. The answer back to me was ‘well kick long then’.

“We work all week on how we want to play and the refs are dictating to us how we play the game. It can’t happen, but it’s happening. They’ve got obsessed about time-wasting and yellow cards.

“Wes Foderingham got a yellow card for handling outside the box and then got threatened with a sending off you can’t do it.

“The officiating is appalling, and it’s not about the football decisions, it’s just game management.

“They just do not know what they’re doing. The people who are directing our game have not got a clue about our game. They don’t know football.

“My worry is all the focus is on yellow cards for time-wasting and when I talked to the referees they haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about. they’re officiating the game, they simply do not know the game.

“To sum it all up we get Ollie McBurnie sent off for telling the referee someone is pulling his shirt. We’ve just seen someone lead with an elbow into our goalkeeper who needs stitches and that’s the same offence. What’s going on, seriously what’s going on with our game?

“The referees are just killing the game at the minute. Ruining it.”

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