Sheffield United fans can play vital role against Reading - Adams

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MICKY Adams has issued a passionate call-to-arms ahead of tomorrow’s crucial encounter with Reading.

The Sheffield United manager, whose side are now three points adrift of safety following Saturday’s draw with Millwall, wants home supporters to raise the roof when Brian McDermott’s team visit Bramall Lane.

Identifying backing from the stands as an important component in United’s plan for npower Championship survival, Adams said: “We want to keep the fans behind us. We need them to make as much noise as possible.

“I don’t want them to jump on every individual mistake we make. That’s not going to help anybody.

“But, to be fair to them, if there are cracks on the terraces then I’ve not seen them. If there is anyone getting on the lads backs then I’ve definitely not heard.

“As far as I’m concerned our crowd has been absolutely brilliant since I’ve been here. That’s got to continue.”

But Adams added: “I’ve told the lads we can’t just take it for granted. We want them to shout but we’ve got to give them something to shout about too.”

Adams, who last week appointed Dave Bassett as United’s footballing consultant, has made no attempt to shield his players from the hard reality of life towards the bottom of the table.

Rather, the 49-year-old has preferred to expose them to the dangers they face in the hope that it provokes a response between now and the end of what has been a tumultuous season in the red and white half of the Steel City.

“We’ve only got a small squad, and that means we need everyone to be pulling in the same direction,” said Adams.

United’s academy entertains their under-14 counterparts from Azerbaijani outfit Gabala FC at Shirecliffe tonight (6pm). The winners will be presented with the Tofik Bakhramov Cup; named after the assistant referee who awarded England’s crucial third goal in the 1966 World Cup final against West Germany. The game marks the start of an “on-going partnership” between the two clubs. This is the first time their teenagers have been out of Azerbaijan. Their tour has already included games against Everton, Liverpool and Manchester United.”

Gabala’s senior eleven are managed by ex-England and Arsenal defender Tony Adams.