Sheffield United: Boss Adkins playing real-life Championship Manager

Nigel Adkins, manager of Sheffield Utd
Nigel Adkins, manager of Sheffield Utd
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As a great lover of poetry and mind-clearing walks in the Sheffield countryside, Nigel Adkins has precious little time for games like Championship Manager.

In any case, he lives it every day as manager of Sheffield United.

“We’ll get lots of people linked with us throughout the January transfer window,” Adkins, speaking ahead of this afternoon’s League One clash with Colchester, said.

“It’s a bit like Championship Manager, isn’t it? There will be players linked to us for all sorts of reasons, some by agents and others by people who simply want to link someone with someone.

“You look at it, for example, and think ‘yes, he’s a good player’ but you know full well there’s not a cat in hell’s chance of getting him.

“I’ve been on the phone a lot. I was on it pretty much all day Wednesday. It’s not just about now.

“There are also people we’d like but, at this moment in time, aren’t quite ready. You’ve got to cover a lot of bases.”

United, with around 40 professionals on their books, certainly have bases covered and the priority in January is trimming a bloated squad, rather than adding to it.

But Adkins hasn’t ruled out incomings, with Dan Burn thought to feature prominently on his wish-list. Dean Hammond’s extended loan spell from Leicester City was confirmed yesterday.

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“Terry Kennedy, for one, is back with us and players need to play,” Adkins, who sanctioned loan departures for Marc McNulty and James Wallace this month, added.

“As I’ve said, I want consistent selections.

“But all players must want to play and so we’ll see what materialises during the transfer window. Then the emergency loan window opens after that.

“I’ve had conversations with all the players and I’ve got total empathy with players who aren’t involved.

“But situations can change very quickly and when those situations do arise, they’ve got to be ready for them.

“That’s the challenge.”

United lost 3-2 to Colchester when the sides last met, at Bramall Lane back in September. George Moncur, another player United have been linked with, scored a brace before Marvin Sordell netted a late winner.

And Adkins said: “Colchester are dangerous opposition. They beat us here when they brought some new players in.

“They have pace and are a big threat. But equally we are going down there with a grit and a resolve to win a game of football. We’ve seen what a spirit and sense of togetherness these lads have got.”