Sheffield United find themselves four points adrift of safety following their 3-1 defeat at home to the Cherries.
The Blades will face Burnley this weekend, a club undergoing similar struggles, sitting at the bottom of the table and having lost their last seven games across all competitions.
Despite Burnley’s struggles, the outside criticism and ridicule faced by United earlier in the campaign have not reached Turf Moor.
For United, the upcoming match against Burnley is crucial, demanding a more assertive performance to avoid a repeat of the passive display that led to their downfall against Bournemouth. While Paul Heckingbottom expressed a desire for improvement, he refrained from labelling the Burnley clash as a must-win.
“Listen, with the position we’re in, we don’t have the luxury of just building up certain games, or thinking that beating [their rivals] is all it takes”, he told SUTV.
But the harsh reality could lead to the sacking of Paul Heckingbottom if his team doesn’t beat Burnley and/or puts in another terrible performance in back-to-back weekends.
“I wish we were playing in midweek. I want to get this game out of my system and out of the players’ systems. We know it’s going to be difficult, but we know we’ve got to be better than that”, the Blades boss reflected on his team’s shocking display against Bournemouth.
If results go their way, and with a win, Sheffield United could move a point from safety. Then again, if they don’t, they could move back down to the bottom of the pile.