Sheffield United replace Slavisa Jokanovic with Paul Heckingbottom

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Sheffield United have sacked Slavisa Jokanovic and immediately replaced him with Paul Heckingbottom, who has agreed a long-term contract at Bramall Lane until 2026.

Jokanovic was brought in as a permanent successor to Chris Wilder this summer and has a proven track record in the Championship with Watford and Fulham, but the former Chelsea midfielder was released after winning just six of his 19 league games as manager.

With previous managerial experience from Barnsley, Leeds and Hibernian, Heckingbottom first arrived in South Yorkshire in 2019 to take charge of the U23 squad. He was promoted to temporary first team manager when Wilder left in March but returned to his previous role when Jokanovic was hired.

Heckingbottom’s appointment seems to be the next step in what the club has described as “several months of strategic planning”. Jack Lester has been appointed head of player development, while Stuart McCall returns to Bramall Lane as assistant manager.

“You can achieve success in two ways, to throw money at it or create success,” Heckingbottom said when introduced to the media as Blades chief.

“This club had taken off when I came in and everything had been put on top, there is a gap between where we came in the Premier League and having the infrastructure and the people to get there again and maintain it.

“If this season is going to be a success, it’s up to the staff and the players so there will be focus. There is no compensation for hard work and those who do will be dragged along, and those who do not will not. do it, ”he added.

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