Paul Heckingbottom has addressed supporter concerns about a lack of leadership in his Sheffield United side after their humilating 8-0 defeat at home to Newcastle United on Sunday. The Blades’ capitulation in front of the watching Sky cameras saw them drop to the bottom of the Premier League table on goal difference.
The Blades’ quest for a first win of the season takes them to West Ham United this weekend and after the abject display against Newcastle - in which United were out-fought as well as outplayed by Eddie Howe’s expensively-assembled stars - Heckingbottom was asked if his squad has enough leaders in it.
“We’ve got a lot of players who are new and trying to find their feet, not only in our club but in English football as well and the Premier League,” he said. “We can’t expect them to be coming in and dominating vocally. They’ve got to get their feet under the table and adapt and to do that you tend to have to be performing well enough on the pitch.
“That will only come with performances or the time they’re at this club. There are still a lot of experienced players here who know the standards and the level of this league, who we need to step up and make sure they take on the extra responsibility if you like.
“It’s not down to one or two, it’s down to everyone and while we can do all the work we want on the training ground, you’ve got to enjoy the challenge of the battle on the pitch and implementing it on the pitch.”