Alan Biggs at Large: Quick-thinking Nigel Adkins has the mindset of a manager

Sheffield United's manager, Nigel Adkins
Sheffield United's manager, Nigel Adkins
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Much is made of Nigel Adkins’ conversion from physio to boss but he was always a natural for management, says one who knows.

And here’s a new word to describe the Sheffield United chief, or any manager come to that: “Capricious.”

In other words, unpredictable and prepared to act on instinct – but then Rodger Wylde, a physio who graduated alongside Adkins, is not given to predictable utterances.

The flamboyant former Sheffield Wednesday striker, now at Chesterfield after becoming a legend of the treatment room across 25 years at Stockport County, flouts the popular image of managers lying awake at night fretting over what team to pick.

“I was on the same physio course as Nigel and I can tell you he was always a manager deep down, whereas I was never interested,” says Rodger, who has worked under countless managers including Jack Charlton, Danny Bergara, Dave Jones and latterly Paul Cook and Dean Saunders.

“The one thing I have noticed is that they are all, by and large, capricious. They make quick decisions – because they think that if it’s quick it’s on the ball. Whereas if you deliberate it means

you are not sure.”

I recall Dave Bassett often acting on a whim as Blades boss (watch out for his new book on the Wimbledon “Crazy Gang”, by the way).

Certainly, when there are decisions to to be made, guys like Adkins are never afraid to make them.

And I think his mind was made up pretty early when it came to a need to stiffen his side in midfield and defence.