City face the visit of Sheffield United to the Coventry Building Society Arena for tomorrow’s 3pm kick-off. Here’s everything you need to know about our opponents.
Name: Sheffield United Football Club
Stadium: Bramall Lane (first opened 1855)
Nickname: The Blades
Address: Bramall Lane, Highfield, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S2 4SU
Pitch Size: 110.5 x 74.4 yards
Sheffield United have enjoyed a mid-season resurgence under the guide of manager Paul Heckingbottom, as The Blades currently sit in 5th place. The four-time FA Cup winners returned to the Championship this season after ending the last campaign in the Premier League at the bottom of the table.
The South Yorkshire side opted to replace former boss Slavisa Jokanovic with Paul Heckingbottom in November, a move which saw Heckingbottom promoted from his role as Sheffield United’s Under-23s manager.
In January, Heckingbottom captured the signings of goalkeeper Adam Davies from Stoke, as well as centre-back Charlie Goode on loan from Brentford.
In contrast, The Blades made several outgoings on loan in the winter transfer window, as Lys Mousset joined Salernitana, both Oliver Burke and Luke Freeman joined Millwall, Michael Verrips moved to Fortuna Sittard, while Adlene Guedioura left on a free transfer and Robin Olsen’s loan from AS Roma ended.
The Manager: Paul Heckingbottom
The Blades opted to replace former boss Slavisa Jokanovic with Paul Heckingbottom only five days after the Sky Blues travelled to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United back in November, with the move also seeing the appointments of former Blades players Jack Lester as Head of Player Development and Stuart McCall as Assistant Manager.
Heckingbottom enjoyed a 19-year playing career as a defender, having begun his youth at Manchester United. As a player, Heckingbottom played for 11 clubs, such as Darlington, Norwich City, Bradford City, Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley. During his playing career Heckingbottom earned two honours to his name, winning the League One play-offs in consecutive seasons with Sheffield Wednesday in 2005 and again in 2006 with Barnsley.
Heckingbottom began his coaching career in 2015 with a small spell as Barnsley’s caretaker manager, before taking up the same role again a year later. This time, Heckingbottom enjoyed success by winning the Football League Trophy against Oxford United, as well as promotion to the Championship via the playoffs with a Wembley win against Millwall.
Before joining Sheffield United as Under-23s manager in 2020, Heckingbottom also spent time as manager at Leeds United and Hibernian also.
Last Six Games:
Won – Sheffield United 4-1 Middlesbrough (SkyBet Championship)
Drew – Sheffield United 1-1 Nottingham Forest (SkyBet Championship)
Lost – Millwall 1-0 Sheffield United (SkyBet Championship)
Won – Sheffield United 1-0 Blackburn Rovers (SkyBet Championship)
Won – Sheffield United 4-0 Swansea (SkyBet Championship)
Drew – Sheffield United 0-0 Hull City (SkyBet Championship)
Last Time We Met: Sheffield United 0-0 Sky Blues
The Sky Blues were held to a stalemate at Bramall Lane the last time the two sides met, back in November. Despite chances for both sides, Mark Robins’ side came away with a point.
Sky Blues XI: Simon Moore (GK), Fankaty Dabo, Michael Rose, Kyle McFadzean (C), Dom Hyam, Todd Kane, Jamie Allen, Ben Sheaf (Liam Kelly 75’), Gus Hamer (Matty Godden 63’), Callum O’Hare, Viktor Gyökeres (Tyler Walker 63’).
Unused Subs: Ben Wilson (GK), Jodi Jones, Jordan Shipley, Julien Dacosta.
Sky Blues wins – 22
Draws – 19
Sheffield United wins - 23
Club Connection: Simon Moore
City’s current goalkeeper Simon Moore made the switch from Sheffield United to the Sky Blues back in July 2021, signing with Mark Robins’ side after half a decade at The Blades.
After spending time at Brading Town and Farnborough, Moore made his professional debut for Brentford in League One back in 2010. The goalkeeper’s breakout season came in 2012/13, playing 52 times for Brentford in a season which saw the side reach the League One playoff final.
The following summer saw Moore make the move to Cardiff City, where he would spend time on loan at Bristol City. In 2016, Moore moved onto Sheffield United where he would win League One in 2016/17 and claim a place in the PFA Team of the Year.
Moore made his Premier League debut with Sheffield United against Manchester United before departing the following summer.
Jeremy Simpson will take charge of this weekend’s fixture at the Coventry Building Society Arena, and Simpson will be assisted by Rob Smith and Richard Wild whilst Leigh Doughty will act as fourth official.
Tomorrow’s game will be Simpson’s second time taking charge of a Sky Blues match this season; his last outing being during the Sky Blues’ 3-2 victory versus Bristol City.