Nigel Adkins has warned Sheffield United must not allow the forthcoming transfer window to become a distraction over the crucial Christmas fixture schedule.
United, who have slipped to 12th in the table after failing to win any of their last five League One games, are expected to strengthen Adkins’ first-team squad with several players also poised to depart as the club wrestles with its Salary Cost Management Protocol obligations.
But Adkins, who last week expressed concerns about the number of professionals on Bramall Lane’s payroll, inisted that arresting United’s slide down the rankings must remain United’s top priority, saying: “There’s going to be a lot of talk and a lot of rumour. People are going to be reading and hearing about this guy leaving and this guy coming in. It can be unsettling if you let it be,but we won’t.”
United contest the first of five pivotal games when second-placed Coventry City visit Bramall Lane on Sunday before travelling to Adkins’ ex-club, Scunthorpe, on December 19.
Wigan Athletic, ranked fifth host United on Boxing Day before matches against fellow play-off hopefuls Bradford City and Peterborough complete the Blades’ festive schedule.
Representatives acting on behalf of Adkins are known to have held talks with Leicester City about the possibility of signing midfielder Dean Hammond on a permanent basis while Fulham’s Dan Burn remains a potential target.
Meetings will also take place between United’s coaching staff and the board of directors about whether to extend the loans of Marc McNulty and Terry Kennedy at Portsmouth and Cambridge United respectively.
Northampton Town are thought to have expressed an interest in extending Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s temporary agreement.
“There are over 40 professionals at the club, including the under-21s, and that’s too many,” Adkins said.