Emotional Lane boss plays the straight man

No regrets: United boss Micky Adams simply said what he was thinking.
No regrets: United boss Micky Adams simply said what he was thinking.
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MICKY Adams, the Sheffield United manager, does not regret the emotional outburst following last weekend’s defeat by Watford which prompted some observers to question his commitment.

Adams has kept a poker face throughout the majority of his turbulent three-month reign but the mask slipped in dramatic fashion after watching both Darius Henderson and Lee Williamson be sent off en route to a 3-0 defeat at Vicarage Road.

Asked whether he would ever consider “walking away” from a job he has coveted since retiring as a player in 1998, he replied: “If I’m honest then the answer has to be yes; yes I would.”

But, speaking at Shirecliffe yesterday, the life-long United supporter said: “I’m an emotive person and I make no apologies for that. When I talk to people I always try to be straight.

“I’ll tell you why I was down in the mouth. It was because we went to Watford on the back of a win over Nottingham Forest, having trained really well beforehand and I wanted to see how the boys performed when their tails were up.

“Instead, we ended up having two men sent off after half an hour and that gave us absolutely no chance.”

Adams, whose team entertain high-flying Leeds this afternoon six points adrift of safety and 23rd in the Championship table, is not the only person pained by United’s predicament.

Paul Connolly, who played seven games on loan at Bramall Lane last season before completing a permanent transfer to Elland Road, said: “I’m absolutely gutted to see them where they are. I still keep in touch with three or four of the lads and Nick Montgomery and Neill Collins are good mates of mine.”

Adams insisted United had “lost a battle but not the war” before returning home from Vicarage Road.

A fiercely proud individual, the 49-year-old’s demeanour behind the scenes confirms that, far from planning his exit strategy, Adams remains committed to repairing United’s reputation.

The former Port Vale chief admitted a squad which has now collected 10 red and 56 yellow cards this term has been reminded of its responsibilities.

“Our discipline has been poor all year,” said Adams. “I’ve got my ideas about why that is but they’re not for public consumption.

“We need to win matches and, in order to do that, we’ve got to keep 11 men on the pitch. It’s as simple as that.”