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Blades boss Paul Heckingbottom hoping to avoid ‘complicated’ Man City semi-final
Mar 19, 2023

Blades boss Paul Heckingbottom hoping to avoid ‘complicated’ Man City semi-final

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom hopes to avoid Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-finals so loanee Tommy Doyle can emulate his boyhood dream.

Doyle has the chance to follow in the footsteps of his grandfathers by playing at Wembley after firing the Blades into the FA Cup semi-finals with a stunning injury-time winner against Blackburn.

The midfielder, who is on loan from City, has watched video footage of his paternal grandfather Mike Doyle and maternal grandfather Glyn Pardoe playing at the national stadium for his parent club in the late 1960s and 1970s and he could now do so himself after his 25-yard thunderbolt earned a dramatic 3-2 quarter-final win at Bramall Lane.

That dream could be complicated if the Blades are paired with Pep Guardiola’s side, who may not give permission for Doyle and fellow loanee James McAtee to play against them.

Heckingbottom said: “My wish is we don’t draw City, we don’t complicate things with the loans, that is just what I wish, but we will wait and see.

“It would have to be discussed, it just complicates things, if we avoid them they are our players and if we drew them, they are their players.”

Doyle’s strike completed a late turnaround as United had been heading out, trailing to goals from Ben Brereton Diaz and Sam Szmodics, which came either side of Sam Gallagher’s own goal, until the final 10 minutes.

Oli McBurnie got the Blades level in the 81st minute before Doyle’s heroics booked a first FA Cup semi-final spot for the Blades since 2014 in a thrilling tie.

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