Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins insists he has no room for sentiment this weekend when he comes face to face with his former club Scunthorpe at Bramall Lane.
Adkins - who yesterday watched United’s U21s reach the national final after a 2-1 victory over Charlton after extra time - enjoyed a successful spell at Glanford Park after being promoted from Iron’s physio to manager, twice leading them into the Championship.
Scunthorpe travel to Bramall Lane on Sunday (12.30pm) seventh in League One, level on points with sixth-placed Barnsley - meaning United, who are tenth after Saturday’s defeat at Coventry City, will have some bearing on the play-off places at least.
But Adkins insists he is focused only on winning the game for United, ahead of a big summer clear-out which he hopes will lay the foundations for a promotion-winning campaign next year.
“It’s the last game of the season, and then we have a lot of work to do this summer to ensure we come back stronger next season,” Adkins said.
“There’ll be no sentiment from me; my only focus is on Sheffield United. Then after the final whistle, we’ll reflect on the season and then get ready for next year.
“We’ll look over what’s gone wrong, and what we need to do to get it right next term.
“The planning has already started behind the scenes, but the focus is on the here and now at the minute. We want to win our last game at home, and then make sure we keep building and put ourselves in a position to start next season strongly.
“We don’t want to be dreaming of the play-offs, we want to be in the top two. Yes, we’ve fallen short this season and a lot of things have happened. We’ll take that in, and it’s up to me to make sure we come back stronger.”
Diego De Girolamo scored twice in United’s U21 victory at the Valley.