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Paul Heckingbottom gives his honest verdict on his spell as Leeds manager

Paul Heckingbottom admits he was frustrated he was not given more time at Leeds.

Heckingbottom returns to Elland Road with Sheffield United this weekend for the first time since his exit in June 2018 and the Whites sacked him after just four months to appoint Marcelo Bielsa.

He would love to have been given longer after being brought in from Barnsley to replace Thomas Christiansen, but insists he has no hard feelings.

“Yeah, of course I was frustrated,” said the Blades caretaker boss. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t.

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“I still speak to the ownership there, there’s no ill feeling. Right club, wrong time for myself and that’s how I look at it.”

Paul Heckingbottom tightened up on discipline at Leeds

Heckingbottom, 43, is positive about his time at Leeds and he laid some of the foundations for Bielsa’s success, including tightening up on discipline.

“Lots of things I took from it were positive and I think they would say the same thing about my time there as well if they are totally honest about it,” he said.

“From the outside, you just see the bits on the pitch, the bits in the media, but there’s lots of work going on behind the scenes, a lot of the best work you do is behind the scenes that no-one is able to see.

“I still speak to them, I still keep in contact and it will be nice to see a few familiar faces at the weekend.”

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Marcelo Bielsa replaced Paul Heckingbottom

Heckingbottom could see chairman Andrea Radrizzani was ambitious to return to the Premier League and says Bielsa gave them the “shake up” they needed.

“He’s done great,” he said. “The biggest thing for me there was a good energy about the place, really good intentions to be successful, it just needed some direction, making the squad leaner, the staff leaner.

“There were a lot of things connected to the club had gone through a tough time and didn’t have the energy to take it forward.

“The club did need a shake-up, without a doubt, and that’s what it’s been given.

“Even then you saw how difficult it is and it still took a while to get there. Luckily for Leeds, they got there and they want to keep building on that.”

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