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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Burnley boss Kompany feels for Heckingbottom as Sheffield United manager faces axe

Vincent Kompany sympathises with Paul Heckingbottom as the Sheffield United manager faces the sack after Saturday’s 5-0 defeat at Burnley, but the Clarets boss is not concerned about suffering the same fate.

Burnley ended a run of six successive Premier League defeats on Saturday, picking up their first home points of the campaign as fellow relegation candidates Sheffield United were crushed at Turf Moor.

That game looks set to spell the end of Heckingbottom’s tenure at Bramall Lane, with widespread reports on Monday suggesting the Blades are set to bring back former boss Chris Wilder.

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With Kompany and Heckingbottom winning promotion from the Championship together last term, the former Manchester City defender feels for his colleague, acknowledging the step up to the Premier League is a difficult one for any side to make.

Asked about Heckingbottom’s likely exit ahead of Burnley’s midweek trip to Wolves, Kompany said: “Every club has its own way of dealing with moments like this.

“I know that just three or four months ago he was one of the best managers in the league.

“We met at an awards dinner and he was picking up awards, so it can’t have changed that much in a few months. If you just look at level of this league, it’s important to put that context on it.

“Every club will have their own way, but last year for the whole season the amount of praise he was getting for the work he was doing stuck with me. Some people just accept this in football, I don’t. It is what it is.”

Burnley remain inside the relegation zone ahead of their trip to Molineux, two points adrift of Luton Town in 17th, having only beaten their two fellow promoted clubs all campaign.

However, Kompany is not concerned that he could share Heckingbottom’s fate if Burnley’s results take another turn for the worse, saying: “It’s a very calm club. We focus on performance and improving the players we have.

“It’s an environment where people can do their jobs but not one for excuses, it’s a very good environment for the players as well.

“I know it can be different elsewhere, but I’m hoping all this will be a positive journey for Burnley football club.

“It will be one of the things that makes the club stand out again. In 141 years of history they have had 29 managers, it’s part of the DNA.”

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