Bassett in line for Blades backroom role

Dave Bassett
Dave Bassett

After more strengthening on the field with the signing of Michael Doyle, Adams has “not ruled out” a key role for Bassett as part of his backroom team.

The new Blades boss regards “Harry” Bassett as his mentor, having coached under him at Nottingham Forest before they worked in tandem at Leicester where Adams stepped up to take charge.

Although the two men have yet to discuss a reunion, Adams regularly uses Bassett as a sounding board and is open to the idea of them working closely again on a more professional footing.

Bassett, now 66, is unlikely to uproot from his family home in the south but is still closely in touch with the game, having assembled countrywide contacts after managing seven clubs.

Asked about the possibility of a reunion, Adams told the Telegraph: “I can’t say that for definite but I’d never rule it out.

“Harry is getting older and enjoying his life, his holidays, his family. He’s on holiday at the moment and there’s more to life than football.

“We’ve not had that discussion yet.”

But you can only guess that Bassett would welcome some kind of involvement bearing in mind his affection for the Blades and his affinity to Adams.

There is already a strong link to Bassett’s time at Bramall Lane - where he was at the helm between 1988 and 1995 - in Adams’ appointment of Alan Cork, a United striker of that era, as coach.

Bassett, who won back-to-back promotions with the Blades before establishing them in the Premier League during the club’s last sustained spell in the top flight, is unlikely to go back into management. As the Telegraph reported earlier this month, he turned down Port Vale and recommended Adams for the job he vacated to join United.

But a scouting and advisory brief seems more than feasible. Meanwhile, Adams expects midfielder Doyle, recruited from his former club Coventry, to make United stronger in an area of the field he regards as particularly crucial.

Nick Montgomery and Stephen Quinn laid solid claim to the territory last weekend, meaning that Doyle won’t be an automatic choice when United return to action at home to Leicester on Tuesday.

Adams said: “Michael is the sort you want in the trenches with you. He’s a good passer of the ball but is also the type who is very competitive and never knows when he’s beaten.

“Midfield is an important area for us and there’s good competition there with Lee Williamson as well. I’m looking for people to step up, perform and keep the shirt. After the disappointment of losing Leon Britton, Michael Doyle fits the bill.”

Adams is still “open minded about recruitment because there are certain areas we need to improve on.” But he feels that, regardless of the result, a performance standard was set in the unlucky defeat to Norwich.

“The players responded to the atmosphere the fans created and we were the better side for long periods,” he said.