Paul Heckingbottom: Ex-Leeds boss named interim Sheffield United manager following Chris Wilder's exit

Paul Heckingbottom takes charge of Sheffield United until end of season, replacing Chris Wilder; former Leeds and Hibs boss will be assisted by ex-Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall, with Alan Knill also staying on coaching staff; watch Leicester vs Sheff Utd live on Sky Sports on Sunday

Paul Heckingbottom
Image: Paul Heckingbottom has taken interim charge of Sheffield United in the wake of Chris Wilder's departure

Former Leeds United manager Paul Heckingbottom has been announced as Sheffield United's interim manager after the club confirmed the departure of Chris Wilder.

Barnsley-born coach Heckingbottom, who has been in charge of the Blades' Under-23s since joining the club in July last year and has also previously managed Hibernian and Barnsley, will take control of the first team until the end of the current season.

Wilder's assistant Alan Knill will remain at the club and work alongside former Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall, who will join United's first-team coaching staff.

Heckingbottom will take over first-team duties for United's game at Leicester on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 1pm (kick-off 2pm), and said: "It is a great honour to be considered to lead this club until the end of the season and I thank the board for putting their trust in me.

"We have a lot of work to do, but have a great support network, all of whom will bring valuable knowledge and experience, as we look to finish the season strongly."

Chris Wilder 3:37
Sheffield United chief executive Stephen Bettis says Wilder's achievements at Bramall Lane will always be part of the club's history

United chief executive Stephen Bettis has described Heckingbottom as the "immediate first choice" to take over as interim boss following Wilder's departure.

"Paul has been at the club for about 10 months now and has been working with the U23s, doing an excellent job," Bettis told the club's website.

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"I think everyone has been really impressed with Paul and his coaching skills. The situation has arisen with Chris' departure that we needed to bring somebody in and Paul was the immediate first choice.

Chris Wilder 1:59
Former Blades striker Brian Deane says recruitment and injuries played their part in Wilder leaving his job at Bramall Lane

"Paul's been excellent in the last 24 hours and has shown a real enthusiasm to be involved for the rest of this season and we're hoping we can finish with a few wins.

"The appointment of Paul and the integration from development to senior level is testimony to the great work that is currently being done at the Academy.

"The Club sees the following months as an opportunity to further develop some of our talents at the Academy and to give them valuable time to train with the first team."

Bettis also welcomed the arrival of Tindall, who joins on a short-term contract.

Jason Tindall
Image: Former Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall is also joining the Blades coaching staff

"We're excited with him coming in, his coaching skills, and also his relationship with some of the players," he added.

"It will be a fresh face and a bit of a new voice.

"Jason has a fantastic pedigree and his fresh input will hopefully add a different dimension when he joins the club on Monday. He will have a watching brief at Sunday's game at Leicester."

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Tindall, who spent the majority of his playing career at the south-coast club, succeeded Eddie Howe as manager in August following their relegation from the Premier League but was sacked last month after four successive Championship defeats.

Tindall was Howe's No 2 throughout his managerial reign in both spells at Bournemouth, made 199 appearances for Bournemouth as a player between 1998 and 2011 and formed a key part of the club's coaching staff as they rose from League Two to the Premier League in 2015.

Tindall said: "It is a privilege to be asked to be involved and I'm looking forward to getting started. I've previously worked with a couple of the players before and have experience at this level, which I hope will be of benefit to Paul and the team."

Wilder's exit was confirmed on Saturday evening, bringing to an end almost five years in charge by mutual consent and following weeks of disagreements over the running of the club and plans for next season.

Wilder, who took over at Bramall Lane in May 2016 after guiding Northampton Town to the League Two title, held meetings with the board on Friday and agreed his imminent departure on Saturday.

The Blades have lost 22 of their 28 Premier League matches but have reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, where they travel to Chelsea next weekend.

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