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On the back of defeating Reading on Tuesday night, the expectancy was that Slavisa Jokanovic had brought himself some more time in the Sheffield United dugout.
However, with just 23 points being collected from 19 matches, the Blades hierarchy opted to make a change, reappointing former caretaker boss Heckingbottom on a long-term contract.
There will be sections of Sheffield United supporters who will have mixed feeling about the decision with Heckingbottom being given terms until the end of the 2025-26 campaign.
Nevertheless, they have been craving stability since the departure of Chris Wilder earlier in the year, and Heckingbottom will be given time to get things right at the Yorkshire club.
His first task will be improving Sheffield United’s home form, their current streak seeing them go three games without success at Bramall Lane.
Sander Berge or Conor Hourihane will replace midfielder John Fleck, who has been ruled out for the foreseeable future after collapsing against Reading.
Billy Sharp may potentially come into the team ahead of Rhian Brewster, but the remainder of the starting lineup could stay the same.
Pearson could be forced into at least one change with Bristol City defender Nathan Baker picking up a knock in midweek.
Rob Atkinson is on standby to return to the defence, while Han-Noah Massengo is pushing for an opportunity in midfield.
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The likes of George Tanner, Matty James and Andy King are all expected to remain on the sidelines.
Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Foderingham; Basham, Egan, Davies; Bogle, Norwood, Berge, Stevens; Gibbs-White, McGoldrick; Brewster
Bristol City possible starting lineup:
Bentley; Vyner, Atkinson, Kalas; Scott, Williams, Massengo, Bakinson, O’Dowda; Martin, Weimann