In-form Sheffield United midfielder Stefan Scougall has lifted the lid on his relationship with Nigel Adkins, describing as 'bulls**t' what he was being told by the former Blades manager.
In an interview with home-town newspaper the Edinburgh Evening News, Scougall describes how Adkins kept giving him mixed messages about where he fitted in at Bramall Lane.
Scougall says Adkins refused to let him go out on loan, and when he eventually moved to Fleetwood the ex-Southampton manager, currently without a club, said he wanted to bring the 23 year-old Scot back into the fold, before almost immediately extending his deal with the Cod Army.
Scougall, who scored and provided an assist to Billy Sharp in Saturday's 2-1 win over MK Dons, added that his recent rejuvenation at United is down to the faith shown in him by Chris Wilder, who replaced Adkins in the summer.
“Last season under Nigel Adkins I was out of favour for different reasons he was giving me,” he told the Edinburgh Evening News.
“In football, people have different opinions but, for me, it was a lot of bulls**t. The change in manager has done me the world of good.
“I was free to go at the end of last season. Adkins kept telling me: ‘You’re a part of my plans.’ Then on the last day of the season it was: ‘You’re not needed.’ Then he got sacked two days later. Football can change very quickly.
“I was trying to get out on loan from October last year and he kept declining it and wouldn’t let me go. It was actually people above him who finally agreed to let me go out on loan to get some games because I just wasn’t playing at all. I went to Fleetwood and did well.
“I got a phonecall after three or four games from Nigel Adkins. He said: ‘You’ve been doing really well. I can’t wait to get you back in the fold here.’ Literally a week later, he extended my loan until the end of the season. I was wondering what was going on. First the manager said he couldn’t wait to get me back to Bramall Lane, then he’s extending my loan.
“When that happened I had a feeling he just didn’t want me. We had a meeting when I got back at the end of the season. He told me: ‘You’re a great player but I need to cut the numbers down.’ All that bulls**t.
“I was in talks with a couple of teams to leave. Then, fortunately for me, the new manager came in. He liked how I’d performed before Nigel Adkins came in and wanted to give me an opportunity. I still had another year on my contract and he said he wanted to keep me and give me another chance. It was music to my ears. I think I’ve done pretty well so far.”
The full interview with Stefan Scougall in the Edinburgh Evening News is here