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Chris Wilder gives his first interview on replacing Paul Heckingbottom at Sheffield United

Chris Wilder gives his first interview on replacing Paul Heckingbottom at Sheffield United, reappointed and signs an 18-month contract.

Alan Knill, Matt Prestridge and former Republic of Ireland international Keith Andrews will assist Wilder with all to be present in the technical area for Wednesday’s home fixture against Liverpool.

Widler, 56, spent five years in charge of the Blades between 2016 and 2021, guiding the club from League One to the Premier League and finished ninth in the top flight in 2019/20 before leaving by mutual consent the following season.


Sheffield United can confirm that football manager Paul Heckingbottom has been relieved of his duties.

Additionally, coaches Stuart McCall and Mark Hudson, have also left the club.

United’s chief executive officer, Stephen Bettis commented: “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.”

It is the club’s hope to have a new manager in place before Wednesday evening’s fixture against Liverpool.


Chris Wilder is the new manager of Sheffield United.

Former Blades favourite Wilder returns on a contract until the summer of 2025. Alan Knill, Matt Prestridge and former Republic of Ireland international Keith Andrews will assist Wilder and all will be in the technical area for Wednesday’s home fixture against Liverpool.

Wilder told sufc.co.uk: “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.”

United’s chief executive officer, Stephen Bettis, added: “Following discussions, the board feel that Chris Wilder is the best possible option to give the Blades a change in fortune at this time and everyone at the club is delighted to welcome him back.

“His love for United and desire to improve the current situation is undeniable, added to the fact that he knows the majority of the squad and the club’s DNA, which will help him hit the ground running.”

Wilder’s association with United started as a player back in 1986 and he would go on to make 126 appearances across two spells.

After ending his playing career in 2001, he began his managerial journey at Alfreton Town. His initial success earned him a move to Halifax Town, and he also had spells at Oxford United and Northampton Town before he landed the Blades job in 2016.

In his first season at Bramall Lane, he guided United to the League One title and more success followed in 2019 when the Blades finished second in the Championship to mark a return to the Premier League, with Wilder picking up the prestigious LMA Manager of the Year award.

An unforgettable first season back in the top-flight followed as United just missed out on a European spot, finishing in ninth position during a campaign hit by Covid. After leaving United in 2021, Wilder has had spells with Middlesbrough and Watford.

Wilder and Bettis will meet the media on Tuesday.

This is what fans had to say as Chris Wilder gives his first interview on replacing Paul Heckingbottom at Sheffield United…

@BigG800: Glad to see our best ever manager back at the lane!! I think we’ll still go down, the damage was done before the season started imo. I’ll be glad to have him back in the championship though ⚔️⚔️ #oneofourown #sufc

@styro94: I’m absolutely buzzing, it’s like COVID never happened and we’re just carrying on 😍

@allip75: Comeback kid as the new walk out tune 🤞🏻 and Baldock as Captain 🙏🏻 #twitterblades

@joshyblackburn: Got to say thanks for hecky for the work he’s done at United since he took over, but he was totally out of his depth in premier league. Maybe with more money to spend it would have been a different story but we move on.. season starts now on Wednesday night #twitterblades

@buxtonblade: Cheers PH. You got my lad loving the Blades. You’ve also seen dealt a shit hand, and these players have let you down big time. Best Of Luck in the future #twitterblades #Sufc

@SEAN_N_MILES: Well I know we’ll all be hoping for a ‘fairytale’ return but I reckon we should be looking to see if Wilder can get the squad sorted, playing in their right positions and ready to hit next season imo. Welcome back Chris. 👏 🔴⚪️⚔️⚔️⚔️ #twitterblades

@unitedite: Welcome back Chris. You gave me some of my best memories of watching United. It’s a different and tougher challenge this time. Hopefully, more memories to come.

@daneshaw8: Could have easily ducked the Liverpool game and started his reign on Saturday at home to Brentford which on paper is a more winnable game. Says a lot. Let’s go 💪🏼

@sclare2805: You know what we need, you know what we expect, you’re one of us. Everything for the shirt, that’s all! Fingers crossed we start to see that again and BDTBL becomes the noisy fortress it used to be – good luck gaffer

@sufcdan12: Can’t be a blade and not get excited about this what a man

@daviesbladesjd: ⚔️ Welcome back to the Blades CW. We’re in this together. COYRAWW! 🔴⚪️⚫️⚔️ UTB

@NatSufc99: Legend, everyone rally behind him for the rest of the season now then.

@DannyConley84: Win, Lose or Draw, the Messiah is back

@JacobMorley8: Let’s have a right go then United ⚔️

@spurr_tom: This just looks and feels so right, gutted I’m on the other side of the world. Get behind him blades⚔️UTB

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