Former Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom lands five-year Sheffield United contract with Rangers caretaker assistant

Sheffield United have moved quickly to appoint Paul Heckingbottom as manager following the departure of Slaviša Jokanović at the skybet Championship club.

Paul Heckingbottom has returned to the dugout permanently at Sheffield United.  (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
Paul Heckingbottom has returned to the dugout permanently at Sheffield United. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

The former Blades caretaker has been handed a mammoth deal extending to the end of the 2025-26 season and has also restored a former Bramall Lane player to the club, taking former Rangers midfielder Stuart McCall on as his assistant.

Heckingbottom took temporary charge last season when Chris Wilder left the then Premiership side, but returned to his under-23 management role when Jokanovic was recruited.

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Now the 44-year-old has assumed the role permanently adding the Blades to a managerial CV which also includes Barnsley, Leeds United and Hibs.

Stuart McCall. (Photo by Harry Murphy/Getty Images)
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Heckingbottom was in charge at Easter Road for 10 months in 2019 after replacing Neil Lennon, taking the club to Hampden where a 5-2 defeat by Celtic in the 2019-20 League Cup semi-final proved to be his last in charge. A move to Yorkshire followed last year.

“Paul possesses the personal leadership qualities and technical football skills the board feels are essential to successfully implement the board’s strategic directives,” said chairman Yusuf Giansiracusa. “We are convinced Paul will play a leading role in improving all aspects of football operations.”

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United sit 16th in the Championship ahead of the weekend’s match against Bristol City following on a 1-0 away win for the Blades at Reading on Tuesday – a match which included the on-pitch collapse of midfielder John Fleck, and proved to be Jokanovic’s last.

Alongside Heckingbottom will be former Scotland midfielder and Motherwell manager Stuart McCall who ended his playing days with the Blades and later went on to manage Yorkshire rivals Bradford City, Scunthorpe United and was Rangers caretaker manager in 2015.

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Stephen Bettis, United’s chief executive officer added: “Disappointingly, after a slow start, we have not seen an improvement in results, performances and we’d prefer to be in a better league position.

"A decision has been made and now it is important that we look forward, Paul’s style and ethos matches that of the club and we will support him where possible. We have enough league games remaining, we know we have the ability and resources within our playing squad to start picking up points and climbing the league table.”

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