Nigel Adkins has reminded Sheffield United supporters that they can play a key role in their club winning promotion to the Championship next season.
The 50-year-old sounded the rallying cry after he was unveiled as Nigel Clough’s successor on Tuesday, signing a three-year deal at Bramall Lane. Adkins created a ‘one-club’ spirit during his time at Scunthorpe and Southampton, which was vindicated with two promotions with each club.
And he is keen to do the same at Bramall Lane, and end the Blades’ exile in the third tier of English football.
“Fans are vital at every football club,” Adkins said.
“They’re the lifeblood; they travel up and down the country, they pay their money and they’re entitled to an opinion, of course.
“The fans at Sheffield United are so passionate, and hopefully we can harness that and use it going forward.
“I know from working just up the road at Scunthorpe that South Yorkshire folk work hard for their money, so they want to see players have a go.
“They want to see exciting football, goals, passion; and we’re looking forward to the challenge.
“As a coaching staff - myself, Dean Wilkins and Andy Crosby - we try not to get too carried away, whether we win or we lose. We just love football. Now, we need to engage with the supporters but we’ve done that at every club we’ve been at, so I’m looking forward to getting into it.”
Adkins twice led Scunthorpe from League One into the Championship, and took Southampton from the third tier into the Premier League in successive seasons.
“This is the next challenge now,” said Adkins, who was sacked as Reading boss in December.
“We’re looking forward to embracing it. We all need to remain calm, keep that passion and stay together, to overcome what’s going to be a very challenging division.”