Adkins bids to be the perfect 10 at Blades

Nigel Adkins is unveiled as the new manager of Sheffield United. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Nigel Adkins is unveiled as the new manager of Sheffield United. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire
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He will become the tenth manager since 2007 to take charge of Sheffield United when the new season kicks off in August.

But Nigel Adkins, having agreed a three-year deal to succeed Nigel Clough in South Yorkshire, insists he isn’t feeling the pressure to deliver instant results at Bramall Lane.

“Our ambition is promotion,” Adkins said.

“Make no mistake about that. We are ambitious as a coaching staff, and we don’t want easy jobs; we want ambition and we want to be successful.

“We are aware of the expectation at Sheffield United and if results aren’t going to plan then the crowd will, rightly, show frustration.

“After all, why wouldn’t they? We’ll all feel the same. Inside, the players and staff will be seething too.

“Maybe this club has had too many managers over the years; in football, you need a little bit of consistency and I’d like to think that I have shown that I like to stay at football clubs for a long period of time.”

Adkins spent almost four years at Scunthorpe United, twice winning promotion, and then enjoyed a two-and-a-half-year spell at Southampton, leading them to the Premier League from League One.

His subsequent spell at Reading lasted 20 months before he was sacked in December last year.

“That was an interesting time,” Adkins said, of his spell in charge at the Madejski Stadium.

“I took over when we were second-bottom of the Premier League, with a Russain owner at the time [Anton Zingarevich] who said we could bring in loads of players.

“Unfortunately, the club then fell into financial difficulties and we went down, then missed the play-offs the season after by a narrow margin.

“We started again with a remit to save the club and not get relegated, but then new owners came in and wanted to get promoted straight away.

“That wasn’t going to happen with what we had there, so we parted ways. I still have a lot of good friends there but you move on, and I’m over the moon to be at Sheffield United.

“In football, and in life, you always want a challenge and this is the next one.”

Adkins, meanwhile, has been linked with a move for Dean Hammond, his former captain at Southampton.

Hammond is out of contract at Premier League side Leicester City, and was used sparingly during the Foxes’ survival campaign. He is thought to want first-team football; and could be persuaded to drop into League One, to link up with his old boss.