Nigel Adkins has personally contacted coaches working with England, Scotland and Canada to assess how his players performed on international duty earlier this month, writes James Shield.
The Sheffield United manager made the admission after insisting that call-ups for Che Adams, Louis Reed and Callum McFadzean underlined the importance of “being involved” in first team games rather than chasing lucrative moves elsewhere.
“I’ve spoken with the coaches of the guys individually to see how they got on from the point of view of our review,” Adkins said. “It does help that they are playing league football.
“Players in the under-21’s or under-18’s tend to go Saturday, Saturday Saturday whereas, in the league or non-league, it’s Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday. That’s one of the things we look at when lads come through. Can they mentally and physically handle the demands?”
Adkins, whose fourth-placed side return to League One action when Bury visit Bramall Lane today, last night confirmed Che Adams (England under-20), Louis Reed (England under-19), Callum McFadzean (Scotland under-21) and David Edgar (Canada) will all be available for selection against David Flitcroft’s squad.
Although Edgar is a seasoned performer for his country, Adkins acknowledged: “The important thing now, and we’ve seen this happen a few times before, is when players go away and come back, after mixing with others, they can go on to a different level if you like. You’ve got to make sure the things away from football are right. You have to work hard, that’s the philosophy we have here. Yes, you are allowed to make mistakes because that’s how you learn. We work long hours and are passionate about our sport and have a desire to improve.”
Adams, previously of Ilkeston, won his first cap against the Czech Republic on Monday and Adkins added: “We had four lads away which is great for them individually and also for the club.
There was Callum, Louis who was part of a victory over Germany and what a story for Che. He’s been playing non-league football since about 14, then started playing for Sheffield United, signed a new contract and has now worn the white shirt of England.
“He’s got an opportunity now and he’s got to conduct himself properly. Everyone who has worked with him at Sheffield United and also before that should be very proud. The same goes for Che’s family.”