City can be Blades’ role model for Canaries’ old boy Hecky

Sheffield United caretaker boss Paul Heckingbottom likes how his old club Norwich City have developed

Sheffield United caretaker boss Paul Heckingbottom likes how his old club Norwich City have developed - Credit: Archant

Sheffield United caretaker boss Paul Heckingbottom would strive to copy Norwich City’s rebuild if he gets the job full-time. 

Heckingbottom replaced Chris Wilder until the end of a doomed campaign for the relegated Blades, who will swap places with Norwich in the Premier League next season. 

The former left back, who spent a year at Carrow Road under Nigel Worthington, feels the way his old club have adopted a longer term strategy is the way to go. 

“Norwich have had a clear way of how they want to achieve things,” he said. “Recruiting developing players, recruiting a manager to play a certain way and they have good players in their 11 and I like that approach - that's good management and direction. 

"Every club can do that, but the skill is doing that because it's harder in practice to do it than just writing it down on paper. 

“If you look at where our journey started, it was in the middle of League One, but now we are starting from a better place - a level playing field in the Championship. 

"Keeping players together is important, there will be some losses because of out of contract players and the fee some teams are willing to pay for them, but the key is to keep the rest together and then add to that." 

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Heckingbottom wants to be in charge of the revival, and picked up his first league win in charge at the weekend with a 1-0 top flight victory over Brighton. The Blades still need five more points to better the Canaries’ 21-point tally in finishing rock bottom last season. 

"100%, why wouldn't you?" he said. "A fantastic club, it's just come down from the Premier League, a club with a great bunch of players and an ambition to get back. 

"Those jobs don't come around very often. 

"There will be people queuing up, people knocking the door down, constantly ringing and constantly trying to get in front of the right people to present themselves and to be the man to bring Sheffield United back. 

"If a new man comes in, if there is a new man, if it's sooner rather than later, we've all just got to wait and see. 

"There's not much you can do as a man coming in outside of transfer windows. 

"There's not much you can change. If you are wanting a fresh start, those breaks in season are really big moments to reinvigorate things, to change things around, whether that's staff, whether that's players. 

"Those are key moments, so I would expect certainly as soon as possible after the end of the season announcements to be made.” 

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