Sheffield United: We’re always expected to win insists Adkins

Nigel Adkins

Nigel Adkins

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Form would likely have you believing that Coventry City will be slight favourites when they visit Bramall Lane on Sunday.

Tony Mowbray’s side are second in League One after a run of 11 matches unbeaten in the competition.

Sheffield United on the other hand have not won any of their last six league games and have dropped to 12th in the table.

Momentum may firmly be with the visitors but Blades boss Nigel Adkins says there will always be expectation of a win for his side.

“I think you’ll find in this division or any other division, Sheffield United has its expectation,” Adkins said.

“We will be looking to win every game we play.

“I think that’s a good expectation to have and to place on each other.

“But you have to understand that there are some good teams that we play against.

“We have no divine right to win a football match.

“You have to earn that right which comes from the dogged, steely resolve to get around the pitch and win the one-on-one duels.

“It’s getting that balance right.

“We’ve been in this division for a few years and it’s a challenge but it’s one we’re going to take face on.”

Doggedness is something which United have demonstrated in recent weeks and it certainly helped in last week’s FA Cup win over Oldham Athletic in which they played more than 20 minutes with ten men.

Adkins has promoted a style of expansive, attacking football but admits a balance is required between entertainment and steel.

He said: “It’s that fine balance.

“At times we’ve played an open, expansive game and maybe that gives us the opportunity to create and score goals which we have done.

“Sometimes it leaves us a bit open at the back and we have conceded too many from my point of view.

“Stick it in at one end and keep it out at the other – that results in victories and builds momentum.

“A doggedness is important.

“I’ve got to get the balance right in the team with the personnel we have.

“That is with their physicality, technical ability and technical prowess during matches.

“I’ve got to get the balance right but ultimately we’ve got to win football matches.”

Adkins spoke of his admiration for the work Mowbray has done with Coventry, particularly this season, and is expecting an entertaining clash in front of the TV cameras tomorrow.

But he is making no bones about the fact is expecting a United win.

He said: “Coventry are in excellent form. Tony went in there last season, stabilised it and turned it round.

“They play really good football. Their goalkeeper plays it out from the back and he’s probably as good as I’ve seen for a long time in terms of his distribution.

“They’re very busy up front and have a formation which allows them to rotate and move the ball.

“And they’ve got people who score goals for them.

“They’re an exciting team to watch and they’ll present challenges but it’s something we’re looking forward to.

“We won our last game and we’re looking to do it again in this one.

“I’m sure the supporters will get right behind us because it’s a big game.”

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