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Scott Parker says Paul Heckingbottom has done a ‘fantastic’ job in turning Sheffield United into promotion contenders. The Bournemouth boss was the happier of the two managers after coming away from Saturday’s trip to Bramall Lane with a point following a goalless draw.

Having beaten United 2-1 earlier in the season, his side came up against a very different proposition this time round. The Blades were 14th back then, having won just three matches when they made the trip to the Vitality Stadium.

Fast forward to Saturday, and United began the day in the final play-off place having picked up 53 points and won 15 of their 30 matches since that defeat in October.

READ MORE: Scott Parker and Paul Heckingbottom verdict on big Sheffield United and Bournemouth controversy

Twelve of those have come under Heckingbottom and the transformation was clear for Parker to see after a competitive affair that saw United unlucky not to take maximum points.

He said: “Incredible. Paul has done a fantastic job. They have not lost at home, he has not had a defeat here which speaks volumes for him but it doesn’t surprise me either when you look at that team on paper, I look at that squad and this stadium, what this football club is and it doesn’t surprise me. He has done a remarkable job.”

The point allowed Nottingham Forest to narrow the gap to second place to six points with seven games remaining for both sides. They also have each other to play in the penultimate week of the season and although there is only a handful of games remaining, he believes the promotion race is still wide open.

“It’s wide open, it’s this division, wide open,” he added. “You are always one bad result away. You win one game and it’s done and dusted, the next week we lose a game you’re not going to do it. That’s just the dynamics of this division.”

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