Kevin McCabe, Sheffield United’s co-owner, has insisted Nigel Adkins retains the “full support” of Bramall Lane’s hierarchy despite a series of disappointing results this term.
Adkins, whose side are locked in a battle for play-off qualification after starting the campaign as title favourites, became the 10th person to manage United since their relegation from the Premier League in 2007 when he was appointed eight months ago.
Despite coming under intense pressure from sections of the club’s support in recent weeks, the former Southampton and Scunthorpe chief last week vowed to take the “tough decisions” required to end his employer’s five year absence from the Championship.
McCabe told The Star: “In Nigel, we have a manager better qualified than many in recent years to get us to where we want to be.
“The relationship between ourselves and the manager is good. And, it must be remembered, the vast majority of our fans, probably nearly all in fact, applauded the fact he was brought in.”
United climbed to seventh when they beat Port Vale on Saturday. United’s lack of activity in the emergency loan market - they also failed to sign a player before the recent deadline for permanent signings - has led to accusations that the owners are failing to provide Adkins with adequate financial backing.
Insisting that funds have been placed at the coaching staff’s disaposal, McCabe added: “ Yes, money is available. But if we have got a problem, it’s that Nigel inherited too many players when he first came in. To have the amount he did must be extremely difficult to manage, even in a purely practical sense.
“Yes, as owners we are very confident that some loans will be coming in. Providing, of course, they reach the manager’s requirements which, as every right-minded person would agree, is only correct.
“But we also applaud the manager’s decision to be prudent and sensible with the money he has got and not to do deals just for the sake of it or to make a statement of sorts.”
Adkins, who delivered Championship football to both Glanford Park and St Mary’s before leading Southampton into the top-flight a season later, refused to elaborate on United’s plans for Jose Baxter following the meeting with Vale after the midfielder was suspended for failing a drugs test earlier this month.
“No comment,” he said when questioned following Billy Sharp’s second-half winner.