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Sheffield United v Middlesbrough: Boss wants Bramall Lane legend to suffer on return UK News

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Sheffield United: Neil Warnock speaks ahead of huge game against Chris Wil…

A lifelong United supporter and former player, Wilder led them to two promotions and a ninth-place finish in the Premier League before leaving his boyhood club 12 months ago following a series of disagreements with the United board. ‘administration.

Now in charge of the visitors, Wilder’s first return to the stadium where he is still idolized by many United supporters promises to be a match of great sporting and personal significance.

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A pivotal moment in the Championship play-off race, Middlesbrough travel south in sixth as United know a victory will see them lift their last opponents from the top six.

With that in mind, Heckingbottom told The Star: “Chris deserves a round of applause, a huge one, because what he has done here – and done so so quickly – has been a golden time for Sheffield United. He deserves a brilliant reception to begin with.

“But we also need the fans on our side who are fighting for their football club. It will be a big game, an exciting race, and we want it to be as difficult as possible for Middlesbrough.

Chris Wilder returns to Sheffield United with Middlesbrough: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Heckingbottom oversaw United on an interim basis following Wilder’s departure, ensuring they were relegated from the PL with some pride still intact after a punishing campaign. He was given the role on a permanent basis when Slavisa Jokanovic, Wilder’s successor, was sacked in November. Sixteenth when Heckingbottom stepped into the breach, United prepared for this contest in seventh position.

“We all did it, played against friends and ex-players,” continued Heckingbottom, who admitted he would “enjoy a beer” with Wilder afterwards. “The difference with Chris is that it’s ‘his’ football club. Before being a player and before becoming a coach, he was above all a fan.

“It will make it feel totally different.”

Admitting he suspects the circumstances surrounding Wilder’s departure will make him even more determined to ‘prove a point’, Heckingbottom added: ‘It’s human nature. Of course he will want to come here and do that.”

Paul Heckingbottom says Chris Wilder deserves a brilliant welcome but then wants him and his team to suffer: Andrew Yates/Sportimage

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This notice was published: 2022-03-08 05:00:00

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