By David Woods

30th Mar, 2021 | 6:06am

Paul Heckingbottom plotting revenge against Leeds as Blades visit Elland Road

Paul Heckingbottom has got a point to prove against Leeds United when he brings his struggling Sheffield United side to Elland Road on Saturday. 

Heckingbottom succeeded Thomas Christiansen at Leeds in the second half of the 17/18 season but was sacked in the summer after some terrible results.

Marcelo Bielsa came in at Leeds and led the side back to the Premier League.

Heckingbottom is now caretaker manager at Sheffield United after Chris Wilder left the club which is sitting at the bottom of the Premier League.

Talking to The Star ahead of Saturday’s game, Heckingbottom hinted at the changes the Leeds players could expect from his side.

“There’s no what you’d call natural, traditional wingers here though. So that means you aren’t going to look at doing certain (formations), and are going to focus on others.

“Plus, on top of that, the players here have been working on this way and they know what they know their roles within it. So it makes sense to carry on with that basically, but everyone likes to put their mark on things so there’s room within that to approach things in a slightly different way.”

That difference was highlighted in the FA Cup game against Chelsea when the Blades employed a higher press.

“That was an example of how you can work things, make changes, within the same overall framework,” Heckingbottom said. “That was something we wanted to see, and we think it made a difference.”

Unhappy return

Heckingbottom would love to come to Leeds and take the three points back to Sheffield.

He will have felt that he didn’t get a proper run at Leeds after inheriting a squad that was in disarray and being given just a few months to turn things around.

However, in reality, Heckingbottom was out of his depth at a club the size of Leeds and we definitely did the right thing by getting rid of him and bringing Bielsa in.

It’s hard to imagine a much bigger shift in managerial ambition than Heckingbottom to Bielsa in the space of less than six months.

Heckingbottom’s high press worked against Chelsea. They were unlucky to go a goal down to an own goal and they restricted Chelsea to the 1-0 scoreline until injury time.

Leeds have the fitness levels to run Sheffield United ragged, though, and we think it’s going to be another three points for Bielsa on Saturday.

That would almost guarantee Leeds’ Premier League status and condemn The Blades to life in the Championship.

In other Leeds United news, Exclusive: Pundit makes major claim about Joe Gelhardt as Bielsa drops exciting Leeds hint