Sheffield United have confirmed under-23s manager Paul Heckingbottom will take charge of the team for the remainder of the season following Chris Wilder’s departure.
Wilder’s five-year association with the Blades came to an end on Saturday night by mutual consent.
Heckingbottom, who has previously managed Barnsley, Leeds and Hibernian, will be assisted by former Bournemouth boss Jason Tindall and Wilder’s former assistant Alan Knill.
It is a great honour to be considered to lead this club until the end of the season and I thank the board for putting their trust in me,” Heckingbottom told sufc.co.uk.
“We have a lot of work to do, but have a great support network, all of whom will bring valuable knowledge and experience, as we look to finish the season strongly.”
On his departure, Wilder said: “Being manager of Sheffield United has been a special journey and one I’ll never forget.
“I was delighted to be given the opportunity back in 2016 and have been delighted with the success which we have achieved, including two promotions and a highest ever Premier League finish.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to the Club’s accomplishments along the way, including the players, staff and, in particular, the supporters.”
Wilder, a boyhood Sheffield United fan, took over in May 2016 and remarkably guided the Blades from the foot of League One to the Premier League in three years.
The Blades surpassed expectations to finish ninth in 2019/20, but it’s been an altogether different story this campaign: managing just four wins from 28 games, scoring just 16 goals and conceding 45 in the process.
A club statement read: “We are confident that all Blades fans around the world will join us in thanking Chris for his hard work, commitment and expertise in driving the club.
“Now the club will turn its attention to completing the season as strongly as possible and if we are relegated, to preparing for the Championship.
“We confirm our intention to keep the core of the player group together and will continue to invest further in the academy and the first team, to place us in the best possible position for the future.”
United striker Oli McBurnie wrote on Twitter: “Today is a sad day for everyone at this great football club.
“Thank you for everything you did for me and my family gaffer, I will never forget it.
“We truly shared some fantastic times on and off the pitch together. Sorry we let you down in the end.”
Defender John Egan also thanked Wilder on the same platform, tweeting: “Thank you for everything. Time of our lives.”