Sheffield United: '˜Treat League One clubs fairly' urges Adkins

Nigel Adkins, the Sheffield United manager, last night called upon football's governing bodies not to ignore the effects international fixtures can have on lower league clubs.

Saturday, 27th February 2016, 05:00 am
Updated Friday, 26th February 2016, 19:20 pm
Nigel Adkins is concerned about the problems international call-ups could create ©2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

Adkins issued his plea after expressing fears he could lose several influential performers, including centre-half David Edgar, over the crucial Bank Holiday period after Canada scheduled their FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Mexico for March 25 and 29.

United, who are battling to secure a top six finish, face Crewe Alexandra at home on the same day Benito Floro’s side stage the first-leg of the contest in Vancouver before visiting Southend 24 hours after Canada travel to the Estadio Azteca.

Nigel Adkins, pictured above with Louis Reed, is concerned about losing players to international games ©2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

With Premier League and Championship teams excused from competition during international windows, Adkins told The Star: “We’re striving to get ourselves in the play-offs. We are striving to be promoted.

“The players in the team, you want them do well for Sheffield United Football Club. If they are being recognised, obviously it shows that we’ve got good players here.

“But, equally, you don’t want that honour and that recognition to possible be to the detriment of your own club. I’m sure, across the board, it’s being talked about. I’m sure people look at it.

“They are the rules and we have to abide by them. We have to deal with them as best we can.”

David Edgar could miss games for Sheffield United next month ©2015 Sport Image all rights reserved

Adkins, speaking ahead of today’s meeting with Rochdale, expressed fears the problems caused by Edgar’s potential absence - he has captained Canada on several occasions - could be made even more acute if Che Adams and Louis Reed are selected by England at under-20 level. Keith Downing’s squad face Ghana at the Keepmoat Stadium on March 27.

“Ultimately, we are going to lose him (Edgar) for a couple of games,” Adkins said. “That’s not really what we want. Louis, Che are doing well. They might get called-up.

“Earlier this season, we had to cancel Colchester because Callum was away with Scotland (under-21’s) too.”

“Potentially, come Crewe and then Southend, David will still be away then,” Adkins added. “There’s an issue there. We don’t want to call games off but there might be players away.”

Nigel Adkins, pictured above with Louis Reed, is concerned about losing players to international games ©2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

United are poised to include Florent Cuvelier and Stefan Scougall in the squad which travels to Spotland with the latter hoping to make his first appearance since December 13.

Defender Neill Collins is also expected to undergo a late fitness test after missing last weekend’s victory over Port Vale due to injury although Adkins will be reticent to change his starting eleven after a positive result.

David Edgar could miss games for Sheffield United next month ©2015 Sport Image all rights reserved