Sheffield United: ‘Something had to change’ admits Adkins

Nigel Adkins says players like Billy Sharp can still flourish in Sheffield United's new system �2015 Sport Image all rights reserved

Nigel Adkins says players like Billy Sharp can still flourish in Sheffield United's new system �2015 Sport Image all rights reserved

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Nigel Adkins has dismissed fears his decision to make a clean sheet his priority during this afternoon’s game against Peterborough could stifle Sheffield United’s goal threat.

Instead Adkins, who admits he was forced to compromise his attacking principles after growing concerned about United’s defensive performances last month, argued the ploy will help bring the best out of his forward players.

Jose Baxter hopes to play against Peterborough today �2015 Sport Image all rights reserved

Jose Baxter hopes to play against Peterborough today �2015 Sport Image all rights reserved

“It’s not an impossible balance to strike,” he said. “We can be tight and very expansive.

“I needed to change the trend after (losing 4-2 to) Shrewsbury and I think we’ve done that.

“You need to identify things as you navigate your way through the season. We know what the end goal is but ideas about how you get there rarely stay the same.”

United could force themselves back into the top six if they beat Graham Westley’s side who, despite being beaten by Walsall earlier this week, occupy League One’s final play-off berth.

Citing the tactics which enabled them to beat Coventry City 20 days ago as the perfect template to nullify Peterborough’s threats, Adkins said: “Akin to Coventry, if you like, Peterborough play a very expansive game. A new manager has come in there and I know Grant McCann very well from my time at Scunthorpe. I’m sure he’s got a big influence on things and is doing a sterling job.”

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