Dean Wilkins wants to ensure the transfer market is not Sheffield United’s first port of call in the search for talent this season, writes James Shield.
Wilkins, Bramall Lane’s first team coach, outlined his plan despite hearing Nigel Adkins yesterday confirm the club are holding “conversations” aimed at recruiting a new centre-half before next month’s deadline.
“There’s improvement in every single player,” he said. “We need to tap into their characters and then set them targets and goals.
“No matter what you do in life, whatever job you have, you want to achieve.”
Achievement for United would be returning to the Championship after spending four years in English football’s third tier.
Wilkins, together with assistant manager Andy Crosby, was part of the team which helped Adkins deliver promotion at Southampton before, 12 months later, leading them into the Premier League.
“The first barrier in front of us is getting out of this division,” Wilkins continued. “We’d be foolish to start talking about the Premier League.
“What we do as a team is produce and environment to go through a process. Then, if we do go up, we start the process all over again.”
The process will begin in earnest at Gillingham tomorrow where United face Justin Edinburgh’s side on the opening weekend of the new League One campaign. Preparations for the visit to Priestfield have taken place in tandem with efforts to bolster their defensive options after Terry Kennedy and Harrison McGahey were both ruled-out through injury.
“I almost feel kid-like coming in here because the opportunity to do something and improve is there, “Wilkins said. “That’s our responsibility, as a two, Andy and myself, to work with and improve the players.”