MICKY Adams, the Sheffield United manager, has admitted the South Yorkshire club’s terrible run of form is testing his patience as well as his motivational skills.
The 49-year-old has failed to win a game since taking charge of the South Yorkshire club in December as a series of factors, including injuries, individual errors and suspensions, undermine his efforts to inspire an upturn in results.
Poor defending was again to blame when Derby County’s Theo Robinson condemned United to defeat last weekend, prompting an exasperated Adams to admit: “I’m absolutely gutted and so are the lads. There have been been plenty of games, since I’ve been here at least, that we’ve lost when we shouldn’t have done.
“But I’m getting sick of doing press conferences and saying exactly the same things, talking about the same stuff all the time.
“And I’m sure the people putting the questions to me are getting bored to death of having to ask exactly the same ones too.”
Nevertheless, Adams is not entirely without sources of encouragement.
Stephen Quinn’s belligerent display against Nigel Clough’s side proved he will not allow United’s to relinquish their Championship status without a fight while Nyron Nosworthy has also delivered two whole-hearted performances since returning to the starting eleven following an ankle problem.
Bjorn Helge Riise, the Norway international Adams recently signed on loan from Fulham, is impressing on the flank. Ched Evans, who lost a stone in weight after being struck down by a stomach complaint, has shown glimpses of the talents which persuaded United to spend £3 million securing his services from Manchester City.
“We need every player and every supporter to give everything” said Adams. “To be fair, the one thing I can’t fault my lads for is their effort because they’re giving everything and always have.”
United, who are 23rd in the table, head to Portsmouth on Saturday before facing Nottingham Forest, Watford, Leeds and Queens Park Rangers in quick succession.
They are six points adrift of safety and have taken just seven from a possible 42. Only a win at Fratton Park will help repair their confidence.
“Obviously it’s low,” said Adams. “Everyone knows that is going to be the case.
“But we can still do it. There are still a lot of points to play for and we’ve got to remember that it’s still possible (to avoid relegation).”