HAVING been warned that his place in Sheffield United’s starting 11 is far from assured, Steve Simonsen could be forgiven for adopting a hostile approach towards Micky Adams.
But the former England under-21 international, who discovered earlier this week a new goalkeeper features on Bramall Lane’s wanted list, confirmed last night that he full endorses the beleaguered manager and his methods.
Speaking ahead of today’s Championship fixture at Portsmouth - where United go in search of their first win since December - Simonsen said: “I’m really disappointed for the gaffer.
“He’s very passionate about this place and he’s worked so hard since he came in to try and change things around.
“With the effort he’s put in, he really does deserve better.”
A United supporter since childhood, Adams made an emotional as well as professional investment in the club when he was appointed as Gary Speed’s permanent successor before January 1’s defeat by Burnley.
Having failed, by his own admission, to “make a proper difference” during nine tortuous weeks at the helm, the 49-year-old has cut a frustrated figure as United slip deeper and deeper into relegation trouble.
Adams, whose record in South Yorkshire reads W0 D4 L8, knows anything other than a win at Fratton Park could deal his team a near-fatal blow in their battle for survival.
They travelled south 23rd in the table, six points adrift of safety and having been booed off the pitch following last weekend’s loss at home to fellow strugglers Derby County.
“We can’t keep saying ‘sorry’ for losing,” Adams, who wants to draft in a replacement for Simonsen’s injured deputy, Richard Wright, said. “I can understand why people are deflated but we’ve got to draw a line.
“What we’re in now is a 12-game season against 12 other teams and we’ve got to make sure we finish top.”
Simonsen endorsed Adams’ positive stance.
“We’ve had injuries and we’ve also made too many individual errors,” he said. “We shouldn’t be where we are but that’s why we are.
“Performances, though, haven’t been that bad and I firmly believe that when we get one win under our belts then we’ll go on to get a lot more.
“It’s not going to be easy. There’s no point in saying otherwise. But we still believe we can do it.”