Blades hold clear the air talks in bid to arrest slump in form

Ben Whiteman of Sheffield Utd  passes past Tom Naylor of Burton Albion on his Blades debut on Tuesday

Ben Whiteman of Sheffield Utd passes past Tom Naylor of Burton Albion on his Blades debut on Tuesday

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Manager Nigel Adkins insists Sheffield United’s players are “ready to go again” after a series of clear-the-air meetings after their latest league defeat on Tuesday.

United slipped to 12th in League One, four points off the play-offs, after the 1-0 defeat to league leaders Burton Albion on Tuesday.

A toothless display against Nigel Clough’s side drew a hostile reaction from the Bramall Lane crowd and Adkins, speaking ahead of this afternoon’s trip to Fleetwood Town, said: “I was annoyed we didn’t perform and annoyed we didn’t win the game.

“But we’ve reviewed it, I’ve reflected on it and we’ve discussed it. We had a good meeting with the players, individually and collectively, on Thursday. We’ll pick ourselves up and get ready to go again.

“Sometimes you get frustrated. You get a camera in your face straight away after a game and it’s an emotional game, I’m an emotional person. But sometimes it’s good to lose it a little bit.”

Adkins could once again name Ben Whiteman in his squad to travel to Highbury, after the youngster made his debut against Burton.

“It was a baptism of fire for Ben the other night. But I trust him and have confidence in him that he’s going to be a very good player,” the United boss said.

“We’ve reduced the size of the playing squad and also in a way which provides a pathway for the youngsters.

“It’s good for the academy too. We are demanding of them to produce the right players and we have to provide them with a pathway.”