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Under fire Heckingbottom urges Sheffield United to relish Arsenal challenge

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom has urged his squad to embrace the impending challenge as they gear up to face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow. 

The Blades are still searching for their first win this season, whereas Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal remain undefeated in the league.

Heckingbottom is fully aware of the uphill battle awaiting his team but believes this high-stakes clash offers them an opportunity to kick-start their season. 

In his pre-match presser, Heckingbottom emphasised the significance of seizing the moment and viewing these games as platforms for growth.

He said (via The Atheltic): “In terms of the challenge, we have to relish it. When you’re playing, you can’t always see these moments as opportunities, but they are. 

“You’ve got to enjoy going to the toughest place and putting in a performance. These are the games that can kick-start people’s careers and really establish them.

“Someone’s career, someone’s rise to success, someone’s whatever it is that gets them to the top level has to start somewhere, and it’s about getting that mindset into our players.”

Heckingbottom acknowledged the challenge Arsenal presents but remained optimistic about his team’s performance. 

“We shouldn’t fear going there,” he added. “We should accept how tough it’s going to be and what level of performance we have to put in to get points.

“Keeping that realistic head on it, that might not be enough, but so long as we can deliver that, then we’ll be happy.”

Meanwhile, Heckingbottom’s future as manager hangs in the balance, with the team languishing at the bottom of the standings after losing eight out of nine matches this season. 

If the Blades suffer another defeat against Arsenal, it may spell the end of his tenure.

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