Injuries prevented Nigel Adkins from analysing all of the options at his disposal during Sheffield United’s pre-season campaign, writes James Shield.
But, speaking ahead of this weekend’s League One opener against Gillingham, the former Southampton and Scunthorpe chief is confident Bramall Lane’s first team squad possesses the ingenuity required to win promotion.
“For me, we have good firepower up front and an ability to change things round as games go along,” Adkins said. “And that’s important; the ability to mix things up.
“We still have players out from last season but we will get them into shape. It’s going to be about the group as a whole.”
Ryan Flynn and Terry Kennedy failed to appear in any of United’s six warm-up fixtures while Matt Done and Jamal Campbell-Ryce, who in other circumstances would have expected to command starting roles, saw their involvement curtailed by collarbone and hamstring complaints.
Adkins is aware of the challenges United are likely to confront between now and May 8 having delivered Championship football to both St Mary’s and Glanford Park.
“There’s not one set way of doing things,” he said. “You need to be able to find different solutions all the way through.
“It’s not about one system of one way of playing. You do what you need to do to win and might have to change two or three times during a game.”