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Sheffield United sack manager Jokanovic after just six months and appoint replacement

The Blades, currently 16h in the Championship, have handed Paul Heckingbottom a four-and-a-half-year deal to succeed the Serbian.

Slavisa Jokanovic.
Slavisa Jokanovic.
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

SHEFFIELD UNITED HAVE announced the departure of manager Slavisa Jokanovic after just six months in the role.

The Blades, relegated from the Premier League last season, sit 16th in the Sky Bet Championship table and Jokanovic has been confirmed on Thursday.

Paul Heckingbottom has immediately been installed as Jokanovic’s replacement on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

Heckingbottom previously managed Sheffield United on an interim basis following Chris Wilder’s departure. The club’s U23s coach has also been in charge of Barnsley, Leeds United and Hibernian.

Jokanovic, 53, became the Blades’ first overseas manager in May when installed as Wilder’s permanent replacement.

The Serbian won promotion to the top flight with his previous English clubs Watford and Fulham, but has won only six of his 19 league games since taking over at Bramall Lane.

The Blades won their first league game in five on Tuesday night, 1-0 at Reading, and are eight points adrift of the play-off places.

Their hopes of an immediate return to the Premier League have been dwindling by the week, with Jokanovic’s side losing eight Championship matches.

Jokanovic signed a three-year deal to succeed Wilder, who had departed the previous March with the Blades lying bottom of the Premier League.

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The club’s bid to bounce straight back has been hindered by injuries and they were dealt another blow on Tuesday night at Reading when John Fleck collapsed off the ball.

The Scotland international was given oxygen and left the field on a stretcher before spending the night in the Royal Berkshire Hospital. He has returned home and is currently being monitored.


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