Blades won't sign loan defenders "for the sake of it", says boss Adkins

Blades boss Nigel Adkins
Blades boss Nigel Adkins
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Nigel Adkins admits he will continue searching the transfer market for defensive reinforcements - but refuses to bring players on loan to Sheffield United "for the sake of it".

Instead Adkins, whose side travel to Oldham tomorrow, insists any players who do come in must be better than the players already at his disposal.

United travel to Oldham looking to improve a run of results which has seen them keep just one clean sheet in nine games, and Adkins admitted: "We need to tighten up defensively.

"We can score goals, but we need to keep more clean sheets.

“We’ve been saying that for weeks now. Is it a personnel issue, a mindset issue, a formation issue? Whatever the problem is, it’s a trend that needs reversing.

"But it’s also important that we don’t just get anyone in, for the sake of it. We have a lot of players at the club, and it’s easy to sometimes just do something for the sake of doing something, when that player is maybe not the answer.

"Then, you’ve got another body who isn’t going to figure; he’s clogging up a wage and he won’t make the difference.

“We have a lot of good players at this level so anyone we bring in would have to improve us, and be better than what we have.”

The absence of Jay McEveley, who broke his toe against Rochdale, should mean a return for Kieran Wallace at left-back while Chris Basham could again deputise at centre-half if he is preferred to Harrison McGahey.

John Brayford, who suffered a slight recurrence of his knee problem on his return for United’s U21s recently, has been set back “a couple of weeks”, according to Adkins, while fellow full-back Bob Harris could step up his recovery with an appearance for Chris Morgan’s Development squad in the coming weeks.

“Bob’s stepped his training up now, so that’s good,” Adkins said.

“He’s working hard on conditioning and rehabilitation; in some ways, it’s like pre-season again.

“He’s been back on the training ground with the lads for a week now, but it’s a gradual thing; it’s been a long time since he played a game, so we can’t expect him to get straight back into it.

“It’s frustrating for us, not having the likes of Brayford, Harris and Ryan Flynn available as much as we’d have liked, but when they’re back it’ll be like having some new players in the group.

“Then, we can look to really stamp our authority on this league.”