Nigel Adkins, the new Sheffield United manager, was last night told he has the toughest job in English football.
The warning, issued by former player Nick Montgomery, comes as Adkins attempts to succeed where four of his predecessors have failed by ending Bramall Lane’s four year exile from the Championship.
Montgomery, now captain of A-League franchise Central Coast Mariners, told The Star: “Being in charge of Sheffield United, with a club of that stature being in League One for far too long, is the most pressurised job in the country. People might laugh at that but I don’t care what anyone else says because I genuinely think that’s the case.
“The expectation there to do well is absolutely huge. And it’s built up over a period of time.
“From what I’ve heard, Nigel is a really positive guy and he’s clearly excellent at his job. But, because of the situation they’re in, I genuinely believe this is going to be the most pressure he’s experienced in the game.”
Montgomery, a member of the squad which reached the top-flight in 2006, made nearly 400 appearances for United after progressing through their youth system before moving to Australia three seasons ago. Adkins has led both Scunthorpe and Southampton out of the third tier with the latter subsequently gaining promotion to the Premier League.
United return to competitive action at Gillingham on August 8 and Montgomery said: “I wish Nigel all the best because it pains me to see United still where they are.” They’re bigger and better than that.
“I know a few people who have played for him in the past and they all have nothing but good things to say about him. I still watch all the games when I can on the internet and I’ll be rooting for him, albeit from a long way away.”