Sheffield United is set to kick off their Premier League campaign this Saturday, and manager Paul Heckingbottom shared his thoughts on the upcoming clash against Crystal Palace.
“We’ve seen a lot of them, I think without even watching them in preseason I could predict what they’ll be like. Really well drilled when they’ve not got the ball in the areas they try and protect and where they want to break.” [SUTV]
During the conference, Heckingbottom provided insights into the latest transfer updates, discussing the departure of Sander Berge and the arrival of Brazilian midfielder Vinicius Souza. He also gave updates on injured players ahead of the match against Roy Hodgson’s side, addressing the potential return of Tommy Doyle.
Heckingbottom spoke of his disappointing in losing Berge to Burnley:
“Course it could’ve [happened sooner] but I’m not going to dwell on it. My thoughts on that will always stay internal and with the board. We speak regularly, and it’s more important they get what I really think rather than [the media].”
He also mentioned that a return of Tommy Doyle has a chance, having kept in contact with the player over the course of the summer.
Despite some initial deflation earlier in the week and a hint of negativity within the camp, United’s boss expressed optimism and high spirits, as the first match day nears.
“I’m excited. Monday I wouldn’t have been as excited but it seems like game day today. It seems like we’re back in the swing of it. I’m not the best in preseason, it’s a means to an end, but I’ve felt a difference this morning.”
The team is eagerly anticipating Saturday’s game, although challenges lie ahead with potential player shortages and uncertainty surrounding Souza’s availability. Heckingbottom aims to harness the resilient mentality exhibited last season when faced with adversity, using it as a source of inspiration for the upcoming match.
United have up to eight players unavailable for the game against Crystal Palace, and new signing Vinícius Souza could be one of those if his visa does not get processed in time.
Heckingbottom did hint at another player coming in before Crystal Palace, or at least he’s “hoping so”.