Paul Heckingbottom’s comments at the weekend after Sheffield United lost to Tottenham have cause quite the stir it seems.
Heckingbottom called out Peter Bankes and the rest of the officials for what he termed as them ‘ruining the game’ at the moment. Indeed, Dermot Gallagher has since spoken out in support of the referees.
And speaking on TalkSPORT this afternoon, former Leicester manager Martin O’Neill believed Heckingbottom was perhaps a bit over the top.
Martin O’Neill disagrees with Paul Heckingbottom’s Peter Bankes assessment
Speaking on TalkSPORT earlier today with Jim White and Simon Jordan, the topic got onto Sheffield United and Heckingbottom.
And while O’Neill said he could understand the frustration, he did admit to disagreeing with Heckingbottom’s comments.
“I do believe he should have reined it in. But those times, it’s difficult sometimes. When you’re holding onto a lead in the game, you’ve seen the fourth official hold up 12 minutes and you’re trying to hold on and you’re thinking can we just run this down,” O’Neill said.
“It wasn’t going to happen, and then on the back of all that then McBurnie being sent off, it doesn’t help really. But the rant in terms of the referees ruining the game, I’m not in agreement with that. I think the referees are under severe pressure now for certain things. It’s a difficult task to referee the game.”
Heckingbottom must now wait and see if he faces any sanctions from the FA. A fine, or even a ban, are potential outcomes for the Blades boss.
Sheffield United News View: Time to move on after today
The comments from Hecky were always going to be picked up on by the mainstream media and that’s exactly what’s happened today.
For United, it’s going to be a case of just waiting for things to die down and moving onto this week and preparing for a huge game v Newcastle.
Heckingbottom’s comments have caused a stir and a discussion, which is probably what he wanted to do in the first place. But right now, his focus just has to be on this coming weekend.