Former Chelsea striker Chris Sutton says he has “massive sympathy” for Paul Heckingbottom, who is set to be sacked by Sheffield United.
That news is yet to be announced by the Blades, with the finer details of his departure still to be finalised.
Former United boss Chris Wilder is expected to replace Heckingbottom.
The Blades are bottom of the Premier League with five points after losing 11 of their opening 14 games.
Heckingbottom, appointed as Wilder’s successor on a permanent basis in November 2021, guided the club back to the top flight with a second-place Championship finish last season.
“What chance did he have?” asked Sutton on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Monday Night Club. “Are we all surprised that Sheffield United are bottom of the Premier League? This is where we all thought they would be.
“He overachieved in the Championship. He would have been better getting a play-off spot, then he would still be in a job.”
Heckingbottom said United were “let down” by some players at Burnley, whose victory lifted them off the bottom of the table, with that defeat following a 3-1 loss to Bournemouth.
“You can’t lose to a direct rival in the manner they did and expect to keep a job,” Sutton said.
“Newcastle smashed them 8-0 early in the season, but if you’re losing heavily to Bournemouth and get absolutely battered by Burnley with the ill-discipline of certain players, then it’s inevitable.
“I have massive sympathy for Paul. When they get relegated – and they will get relegated – they could do with Paul Heckingbottom to get them back up.”