Sheffield United manager voices injury concerns over practice facilities

Written by Katya Witney

Paul Heckingbottom became the latest manager to voice his displeasure at Sheffield United’s training facilities as their injury crisis deepens heading into their final charge for a play-off place.

The manager’s comments came after his side were thrashed 4-1 by 10th placed Coventry at the CBS Arena on Saturday.

The Blades were without Rhian Brewster, Jayden Bogle, and David McGoldrick who have long term injuries, and George Baldock, Ben Davies and Jonathan Fleck who have recently sustained injuries.

Heckingbottom said: “The big one for me is our training pitch has been terrible this year. We came back after Fulham and we had two days of rain and we’ve not been on it some days. It’s just been a bog. We have to address that in the summer. It’s something as a club we certainly need to get right.”

“That’s probably what I’m losing sleep over more than anything else. We need players back, we want the players back. You look at our bench today and it’s full of youngsters but when you go on it’s a big step up and we want our players back, definitely.”

Previous manager Slavisa Jokanovic also voiced his concerns about the standard of training facilities at Shirecliffe, Sheffield United’s training ground, before he was replaced by Heckingbottom in November 2021.

Chris Wilder who made way for Jokanovic last May also bemoaned the state of the training ground after the club committed to update their facilities in July 2020. It was reported in March 2021 that no work had started on the facility.

The club is owned by Prince Abdullah bin Musaid Al Saud of Saudi Arabia was reported to have lost more than £23 million during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Plans for the training ground include purpose built performance gym including heat/altitude training chambers and brand new elite bespoke changing facilities for first team players, including heat therapy and relaxation areas.

For Heckingbottom, the plan is to focus on gaining promotion to the Premier League next season: “We know what the problem is and we’ve got to put that right but we can’t at this moment in time it has to be the summer.”

The Blades will play 12th placed Blackpool on Wednesday evening.

Written by Katya Witney

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