Sheffield United: The kids hold the key

Blades Boss Micky Adams
Blades Boss Micky Adams
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SHEFFIELD United manager Micky Adams must convince Kevin McCabe, the club’s plc chairman, that he is prepared to work closely with Bramall Lane’s burgeoning crop of young talent next season or risk losing his job.

SHEFFIELD United manager Micky Adams must convince Kevin McCabe, the club’s plc chairman, that he is prepared to work closely with Bramall Lane’s burgeoning crop of young talent next season or risk losing his job.

Adams, whose side were relegated from the Championship last month, held talks with the Brussels-based property magnate yesterday as United’s hierarchy begin preparing for life in League One.

McCabe told a pre-arranged media briefing that the 49-year-old, who became the fourth person to take charge of United since August when he succeeded caretaker John Carver five months ago, is likely to discover his fate before the weekend.

But while he will counsel opinion from “loyal and very capable colleagues” about whether Adams should remain at the helm, McCabe confirmed “I will make” the final decision.

Whether or not Adams is ready to continuing weaving youngsters such as Jordan Slew, Harry Maguire, Terry Kennedy and other members of United’s FA Youth Cup Final squad into his plans is likely to exert huge influence over the outcome, although McCabe acknowledged last night that experienced professionals must also be retained to help accelerate the process.

“Part of the remit is to ensure the manager will blend our youth players in,” he said. “We need to keep blending them in because they are the future.

“But I recognise and accept that we can’t rely purely on the kids. One comment Micky has made to me is that he’s not yet had a chance to really look at them properly because trying to keep us up was a 24/7 job.”

Adams, whose record in South Yorkshire reads W4 D5 L15, has promoted several graduates of United’s academy programme through the ranks of late but has repeatedly warned against relying too heavily on home-grown players.

The Star understands that Port Vale, the club he left to join United, could offer him an immediate return to the game should he part company with the team he has supported since childhood.

McCabe added: “It (a decision) will be made in the next few days. Micky is a good manager, a good man.

“He’s not solely responsible for what has happened. He’s dealt with the situation calmly but he’s as disappointed as I am.

“I’ve not had time yet to accumulate my thoughts. One of the reasons I am here is to talk about re-shaping the club generally.”

Meanwhile, United are believed to have sold more than 15,000 tickets for the home leg of their FA Youth Cup final tie with Manchester United. They are available from Bramall Lane’s box office.