Confirmed: Adkins leaves Sheffield United

The story of Adkins' Blades career
The story of Adkins' Blades career

Sheffield United have parted company with manager Nigel Adkins.

The decision, made following discussions between co-owners HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Abdulaziz Al Saud and Kevin McCabe, comes less a week after the club recorded its lowest ever league position for over three decades.



Sheffield United issued this statement: "A decision has been made by the board of Sheffield United for Nigel to depart immediately. Nigel is a gentleman and, as proved by his record, a very good manager, but the overriding aim is promotion from League One and the Club feels that this is the correct time to make a change.

"We will now begin the process of bringing in a new manager. We hope to make an appointment very shortly, with promotion from this division once again the priority. This is a decision made jointly between the co-owners and is the result of discussions between board members and colleagues.

"We sincerely wish Nigel and his backroom staff, Andy Crosby and Dean Wilkins all the best for the future."

Mr Adkins commented: "I am proud and honoured to have been the manager of Sheffield United but saddened to leave after just one season. I am naturally very disappointed not to be able to continue the good work going on behind the scenes, which I am confident will be of benefit to the Club going forward. I wish the Club and the supporters the best of luck for the future."

Adkins, aged 51, took charge of United in June last year.

Despite being installed as promotion favourites soon after his appointment was confirmed, Sunday's defeat by former club Scunthorpe saw United finish 11th in the table; 19 points behind second placed Burton Albion.

Bramall Lane's hierarchy will now begin the search for their ninth permanent manager since Neil Warnock's exit in 2007. Northampton Town's Chris Wilder is the leading candidate for the role following successful spells at Halifax Town, Oxford United and most recently Sixfields where he achieved promotion from League Two last term.

Wilder was recently granted permission to speak with Charlton Athletic while Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers are also thought to be keen on acquiring his services.

Adkins began his coaching career with League of Wales outfield Bangor City before returning to management at Glanford Park in November 2006. He twice guided Scunthorpe to promotion before being headhunted by Southampton where he led the Hampshire club from League One to the Premier League in two seasons. Adkins then took over the reins at Reading but was unable to prevent the club being relegated from the top-flight.

A former Tranmere Rovers and Wigan Athletic goalkeeper, he signed a three year contract with United after being unveiled as Nigel Clough's successor at a media conference in London. Adkins won 22 of his 54 matches as United manager with 14 of those fixtures ending in a draw.