Nigel Adkins is Sheffield United’s new manager, the League One club has confirmed.
Adkins, previously of Scunthorpe, Southampton and Reading, succeeds Nigel Clough who left Bramall Lane following last month’s play-off semi-final defeat by Swindon Town.
The 50-year-old accepted the post after holding a third round of talks a representative of co-owners Kevin McCabe and HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Abdulaziz Al Saud in London yesterday. Although United immediately included Adkins on a short-list of potential candidates to fill the void created by Clough’s departure, The Star understands he also made contact to express his interest in the role.
Bradford City’s Phil Parkinson was also viewed as a serious contender following an impressive spell at Valley Parade while former Brentford chief Mark Warburton also made a presentation to the selection panel.
Adkins represented Tranmere Rovers, Wigan Athletic and Bangor City before leading them to the League of Wales title in successive seasons.
He twice won promotion at Glanford Park before leading Southampton from the third tier into the Premier League. Adkins, who was replaced at St Mary’s by Ronald Koeman’s predecessor Mauricio Pochettino, has been out of work since leaving Reading in December.
A club statement said: “Nigel Adkins has agreed a three-year contract to become Sheffield United’s new first-team manager.
“The 50-year-old, who has won promotion from League One on three occasions, twice with Scunthorpe United and most recently with Southampton, will be joined at Bramall Lane by Andy Crosby (Assistant Manager) and Dean Wilkins (First-Team Coach).
“The incoming trio will work alongside the existing backroom staff already contracted to the club and will commence their roles with immediate effect.”
Clough’s 19 month reign, which saw United reach the semi-finals of both major domestic knockout competitions, ended soon after the double-header against Swindon. Before leaving South Yorkshire, he published United’s retained and released list which saw the likes of Jay McEveley and George Long handed contract extensions.
Adkins commitment to working with young players made him an attractive proposition for a club which has seen its academy spawn talents such as Long, Louis Reed and Terry Kennedy in recent years while Che Adams, the former Ilkeston teenager, impressed after arriving in October.
United received over 50 applications for the job after announcing Clough’s exit via their official website over a week ago.