Alan Biggs at Large: Shefield United boss Nigel Adkins gets a warm welcome from the men in the middle

Nigel Adkins is highly respected by match officials according to Uriah Rennie
Nigel Adkins is highly respected by match officials according to Uriah Rennie
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Nigel Adkins wants Bramall Lane to be less welcoming for visiting teams next season. But what about referees?

This column is hearing of a climate change there – from cool to warm (rather than hot) – and wondering if the two will go together to help Sheffield United finally escape League One. It’s based on this interesting reaction to Adkins’ appointment by Sheffield’s former FIFA referee Uriah Rennie. “Officials will look forward to coming to Bramall Lane,” Uri tells me.

“Nigel’s a nice man, not aggressive or offensive.”

Let me hasten to add that, Nigel Clough tried to be fair to referees and was conscious of going over the top.

There will also be those who actually prefer to see a confrontational Fergie-type approach from their manager on the touchline. But it can work the other way.

Referees can be so determined not to be influenced or intimidated that a decision or two will go the wrong way.

You can’t see that happening to an Adkins team.

In this tight division, the Blades need all the margins in their favour.