Chris Wilder returns as Sheffield United manager after Paul Heckingbottom exit
The Blades fired Heckingbottom after they slipped to the bottom of the Premier League table.
Sheffield United have appointed Chris Wilder as their new manager after sacking Paul Heckingbottom.
The Blades fired Heckingbottom after they slipped to the bottom of the Premier League table, with just five points, after Saturday’s embarrassing 5-0 defeat at Burnley, their 11th reverse in 14 matches.
Wilder returns to the club after leaving his first spell in March 2021 with the Blades on the way to relegation to the Championship, and will take charge of Wednesday’s Premier League clash with Liverpool.
The 56-year-old told the club’s official website: “Quite simply it was an opportunity which I just couldn’t turn down. Just like in 2016, when this club comes calling, it is not something you pass up.
“This is Sheffield United, it is my team and I am thrilled to be back. We find ourselves in a difficult position, I understand that, but I think I can make a difference.
“When I received the call from Stephen (Bettis) asking if I would consider coming back to try and help, I didn’t have to think about it. People know what this club means to me, and the task now is to try and provide a boost to improve our current situation.
“My relationship with Prince Abdullah and the board was repaired a long time ago. After some time passed following my initial departure, we spoke, met in person and there was an amicable ending. Now, coming back as manager, to know there is a united front again is crucial as we look to work together to improve the club’s position in the Premier League.”
Heckingbottom, who was appointed on a permanent basis in November 2021, guided the club to promotion last term but a torrid start to the season has included an 8-0 home thrashing by Newcastle and a 5-0 defeat at Arsenal.
United chief executive Stephen Bettis said in a statement: “Firstly, on behalf of the board of directors, I’d like to thank Paul for all of his efforts at Sheffield United, firstly as U23s manager before stepping up to take control of first-team duties.
“His professionalism and dedication have been a credit to the club and I’m sure all Unitedites enjoyed the promotion-winning campaign.
“However, after slipping to the bottom of the table and a number of disappointing results and performances, it is felt that a change is needed to give the club a boost and every possible chance of remaining in the Premier League beyond this season.”
First-team coaches Stuart McCall and Mark Hudson have also left the club.
Club owner Prince Abdullah told talkSPORT on Tuesday that Wilder was “the best guy on planet earth to take over the club right now in these circumstances”.
He said: “Chris is very optimistic he can save the season, he doesn’t think it’s easy, but he thinks it’s still possible.
“When you look at the table it’s a very special year, a very weird year when it comes to the standings, so it’s still early, the season is still long and we have every chance to achieve our goals.”