Nigel Adkins, the Sheffield United manager, has revealed he could perform another overhaul of the club’s tactics ahead of this afternoon’s game against Wigan Athletic.
Adkins, who is expected to have a near full-strength squad at his disposal for the match, made the admission after conceding his team has drawn too many games since relaxing its commitment to all-out-attack following a difficult Autumn period.
“We need to try and start on the front foot here,” Adkins said. “We have prepared well and we know what we’ve got to do. I have a way of playing and, yes, I’ve had to change that a little bit.”
Adkins’ latest declaration is a tacit admission that United must almost certainly beat Wigan, five places and 10 points above them in the League One table, to keep their faint hopes of automatic promotion alive. United, in ninth, have lost only twice in the competition following Adkins’ decision to adopt a more conservative approach in recent months but they enter today’s fixture having taken only two points from a possible six after being held by both Swindon Town and Blackpool.
“We’ll always back ourselves to score goals,” Adkins said. “We were doing that at the start but we were letting too many in and so we couldn’t leave ourselves as open. It had to change and we’ve done that.
“But now, maybe, we need something else. It’s just about striking that balance. Getting that right.”
United, who drew 3-3 with Wigan at the DW Stadium last month, will be without Kieran Wallace (hamstring) for the return in South Yorkshire but fellow defender Bob Harris has recovered from injury. Billy Sharp (foot), Chris Basham (leg) and Matt Done (hamstring) are also set to feature after receiving treatment for minor complaints this week.