Nigel Adkins is hell-bent on making Sheffield United the fittest team in the division after praising his squad’s’ mental strength.
Adkins, a qualified physiotherapist, outlined the plans after revealing potential transfer targets must have a proven track record of being able to play “40 games a season” in order to secure moves to Bramall Lane.
“That’s something we are aiming to be, definitely,” he said. “And I think we’re doing really well on that score at the moment. It’s been commented on by some of our opponents and that’s nice to hear. I’m sure, with the programmes we have in place and which we’ve used in the past, it’s only going to improve even more.”
United, who return to League One action against Swindon Town on Saturday, demonstrated their endurance during visits to Wigan Athletic and Colchester last week to move within a point of sixth-placed Peterborough. Graham Westley’s side sold leading goalscorer Conor Washington to Queens Park Rangers for an undisclosed sum yesterday. Reports in the capital last night suggested the former Newport County striker had commanded a fee of £2.5m.
Adkins is also expecting to lose players before next month’s deadline for permanent signings after describing United’s playing staff as “bloated” during a recent interview with The Star. Talks aimed at securing Dan Burn’s release from Fulham are also on-going although Adkins concedes his presence in the Championship club’s starting eleven means it will be difficult to lure the defender north.
“We’ve kept a settled side of late,” Adkins said. “The lads who haven’t been in the starting eleven will be kept fit as we’ve arranged a good game for them in the week. We’ve scored late goals in both of our last two matches and you don’t do that if you aren’t strong physically and mentally too.”