Nigel Adkins has revealed the incredible level of detail contained within the pre-match dossiers compiled by his coaching staff.
The Sheffield United manager, whose side resume their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy campaign against Notts County on Tuesday, described how analysts working at Bramall Lane are even studying the state of the playing surface surrounding corner flags before away matches.
Adkins made the admission before last weekend’s visit to Port Vale, saying: “I remember once, before a game, we noticed that the pitch around the flag, where players had been running to take kicks, was pretty bad.
“It was going to be hard to keep your footing. So we came up with the idea of trying out-swinging corners, not the in-swinging ones we were probably going to use.
“It meant the player taking the kicks would be running a different way to the ball and so had more chance of keeping his balance.”
Adkins frequently organises Sunday-morning video sessions to “run through” issues pertinent to forthcoming games.
“I’ve been disappointed with our delivery from set-plays,” he said.
“Not the set-plays themselves, they’ve been well worked out and executed, but the actual ball into the danger area, and that’s so, so important.
“You can have all the organisation you want but if the delivery isn’t right then it won’t happen.
“If you don’t beat the first man, for example, then it’s not going to happen.”
Although lifting the JPT does not feature at the top of his list of priorities this season - “We want promotion. We make no secret that is our objective and aim” - Adkins distanced United from those clubs who make no attempt to hide their apathy towards the tournament.
“We respect it and I personally respect it,” he said.
“Make no mistake, we want to go as far in it as we possibly can.”