Slavisa Jokanovic has won eight of his 22 games in charge of Sheffield United
Slavisa Jokanovic leaves with Sheffield United 16th in the Championship

Sheffield United have sacked boss Slavisa Jokanovic and appointed Paul Heckingbottom as his replacement on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

Heckingbottom, 44, ended last season in caretaker charge as they were relegated from the Premier League before Jokanovic took over in May.

The 53-year-old Serb won just six of his 19 leagues games in charge.

Sheffield United, who host Bristol City on Sunday, are eight points off the Championship play-off places.

“Disappointingly, after a slow start, we have not seen an improvement in results, performances and we’d prefer to be in a better league position,” Blades chief executive Stephen Bettis said in a statement.external-link

“A decision has been made and now it is important that we look forward, Paul’s style and ethos matches that of the club and we will support him where possible.”

Heckingbottom will be assisted by former Sheffield United player and coach Stuart McCall, who leaves Blackpool. Former Blades striker Jack Lester has been appointed head of player development.

Jokanovic arrived at Bramall Lane from Qatari side Al-Gharafa looking to win promotion to the Premier League with a third club, having done so with both Watford and Fulham.

However, a slow start that saw them fail to win any of their first four matches never really picked up and, despite winning at Reading on Tuesday, they are as close to the relegation zone as they are the top six.

Heckingbottom won promotion to the Championship with Barnsley before a brief spell in charge at Leeds United ended in June 2018.

He spent around nine months at Scottish Premiership side Hibernian but was sacked in November 2019 and took on a role as the Blades’ under-23s coach in July 2020.

Chairman Yusuf Giansiracusa said: “We look forward to embarking on a new era in Blades football with Paul at the helm.

“Paul possesses the personal leadership qualities and technical football skills the board feels are essential to successfully implement the board’s strategic directives.”

Source: BBC

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