Paul Heckingbottom reveals that he is still in regular contact with fired Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder, even though the former Leeds and Hibernian has replaced the popular Blades coach at Bramall Lane.
- Chris Wilder was fired as Sheffield United boss last month after poor form
- Blades interim boss Paul Heckingbottom has revealed that he is still speaking to Wilder
- Wilder initially overtook Heckingbottom as a youth coach last summer
- Heckingbottom has supported Wilder to return to management soon
Chris Wilder is still in regular contact with the man who replaced him as manager of Sheffield United.
Wilder has kept in touch with Paul Heckingbottom in the four weeks since his successful five-year reign on Bramall Lane was cut short following the breakup of his relationship with Blades owner Prince Abdullah.
The 53-year-old brought in Heckingbottom last summer to supervise the club’s Under-23s, and has remained a mentor since former Leeds boss and Hibernian took over as concierge following his departure from the bottom of the Premier League last month. March.
Paul Heckingbottom says he’s still in touch with Sheffield United predecessor Chris Wilder
Wilder left Bramall Lane last month with the Blades at the bottom of the table facing relegation
“We spoke a few times,” revealed Heckingbottom, whose Arsenal squad were looking for a 15-point gap to safety on Sunday in their unlikely attempt to beat the drop.
He added: ‘We can still keep that friendship. It’s hard because I’ve been in his shoes and I know what it’s like, it’s hard because I came here to work for him and we couldn’t get that relationship the way we wanted because of the Covid restrictions, but moving forward is changing nothing.
Obviously, I won’t get into what we’re talking about, but we’ll keep talking and our conversations will evolve as things progress, regardless of Chris’ next job or my next job.
“Everyone knows we were friends before I came to the club and he was a big part of my coming here.”
Heckingbottom was recruited by Wilder last summer as a youth coach but is now interim boss
Heckingbottom tipped Wilder to return to the dugout sooner rather than later.
Given the wonders he’s done in leading the club from League One to an impressive Premier League top half finish last season, the Lifetime Blade is unlikely to last long without enticing offerings.
The 43-year-old added: ‘Chris will be back in management very soon, there is no doubt about that.
‘That’s not like I’m giving away anything from a conversation I’ve had with him, but he’s too good a manager, with too good a track record.
“It will be more of a case of when he’s ready to come back, then he’ll come back.”
Heckingbottom has supported Wilder (above) to return to management soon