Sheffield United: An insight into Nigel Adkins’ football philosophy

Nigel Adkins
Nigel Adkins

Nigel Adkins has outlined the footballing philosophy he hopes will deliver Championship football to Sheffield United.

And according to the new Bramall Lane boss, the formula is relatively simple: calmness, comfort and confidence.

I’ve joined a League One club which should, at least, be in the Championship

Nigel Adkins

“My objective here is to win promotion,” Adkins said.

“I’ve joined a League One club which should, at least, be in the Championship and the owners are well aware of my ambition.

“I have experience of doing that at other clubs [Scunthorpe and Southampton], so it’s up to me to utilise that and keep everyone calm and consistent so that, come the end of the season, we’re hopefully in the hunt.”

Adkins, who began his senior managerial career in Welsh football with Bangor City, added: “We played good football there and we won a lot of games.

“We did the same at Scunthorpe, and then Southampton.

“So ideally, we want to play attractive football but, really, it’s about winning football.

“We’re all about creating an environment in which players can feel comfortable and confident, and express themselves on and off the field.

“But we’ve got to make sure that the players are comfortable playing a certain way. It won’t work if they don’t feel comfortable.

“We want to win games, of course, but we’re mindful that we have a duty to entertain, too.

“I have a way in my mind of how I want us to play; that’s what the fans want to see, and that’s what we’ll try and deliver.”

One of the 50-year-old’s first tasks as United boss will be to assess the squad he inherits from predecessor Nigel Clough.

“It always takes a bit of time to move the squad around to what you need, when you join a new club,” Adkins added.

“A lot of new players came in last season; Nigel was obviously trying to build a squad, and a lot of players came in last year.

“I’m sure they’re still feeling the pain of missing out in the play-offs and, hopefully, they’ll come back stronger and determined to give it another go.”

“Footballers are usually ambitious and I’m sure these lads are no different, but we’ll know more about their character when we get amongst them in pre-season.”

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