Nigel Adkins has ordered his Sheffield United players to “look at themselves in the mirror” following their shock defeat by Crewe Alexandra.
The Sheffield United manager, speaking after Ryan Colclough’s goal saw the visitors fall eight points behind the automatic promotion positions, also appeared to suggest he will consider wielding the axe during January’s transfer window unless there is a marked improvement in results.
United, who were relegated from the Championship four years ago, are now embarking on their fifth season as a League One club and Adkins told The Star: “We’re in a position now where we are talking about a bad defeat because that’s what it is. Maybe there are players who have got to look at themselves in the mirror. You are where you are for a reason.
“Maybe they’ve got to ask themselves why are are still at this level. But we have also got to stick together and be resolute. It is about ‘us.’ Speaking from experience, I know that. Everybody has got to show they want to come along for the ride. I say it all the time, it’s monotonous but true: goals change games, it’s a simple game and it’s what happens in both penalty areas that counts.”
Adkins was appointed in June after leading both Scunthorpe and Southampton out of the division.
“Am I surprised by the position? I highlighted at the start (of the season) where I thought we were,” he added. “Has that changed? We have got to stay in the race until January.
“What we will do now is find out a lot about everybody. Because we have got to go again. There was some good stuff out there, there were enough opportunities for us to score, but we got beat and it doesn’t matter what I say, that’s the end of it.”