Sheffield United stands by Paul Heckingbottom despite Newcastle defeat

    Sheffield United have no plans to sack Paul Heckingbottom any time soon after the club suffered their heaviest league defeat when they were thrashed 8-0 by Newcastle.

    The Blades were put to the sword by a rampant Newcastle side and have gone six games without a win since returning to the Premier League, but Heckingbottom’s job is now secure, the PA news agency understands.

    There has been speculation linking former manager Chris Wilder with a return to Bramall Lane, but even this disappointing defeat will not change the board’s position.

    When asked if he would coach the next game, he replied: “Yes, 100 percent.

    “It looks like this could be a topic now. I can’t answer any of that: the game, the players, my department, yeah, no problem, but you’re asking the wrong person about these things.”

    Heckingbottom, who led the club to promotion last season, has overseen a difficult few days following the death of women’s player Maddie Cusack earlier in the week.

    The midfielder, who also worked in the club’s marketing department, was just 27 years old and the club was left “devastated”.

    And the boss admits he’ll be glad to see the terrible week end.

    Cusack was given some pointed words before the match, with Heckingbottom saying: “It affected a lot of people, there were tears on the pitch before the game.

    “But we were determined to bring a strong end to what had been a really tough week and we couldn’t do it. It’s been a tough week for everyone at the club and we want it to end.”

    The Magpies rewrote the history books by claiming their biggest ever away win and also becoming the first Premier League team to score from eight different players in a game.

    Eddie Howe’s side, who have endured a difficult start to the season, now look like they have gained strength and performed superbly after a midweek trip to the Champions League with AC Milan.

    In the second half they didn’t take their foot off the gas, scoring goals, and that was the most pleasing thing for the boss.

    Howe said: “It’s been a great week for us. This is football for you.

    “Before the Brentford game we knew how important this game was, it’s a big moment in the week and it’s great to see us back to our best form today.

    “I never doubted us in the final third, we have some outstanding players and we have had a very tough start to the season in terms of matches but today we were ruthless and kept looking to score which is key.

    “We respect Sheffield United and Paul Heckingbottom and the job he’s done here, but we just had to do our thing and keep pushing and try to score goals.

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