Nigel Adkins has challenged Sheffield United’s players to look at themselves after admitting that his side are “falling well short” of where they should be in League One.
United slipped to 12th in the league standings after Tuesday evening’s defeat at home to Shrewsbury Town, who recovered from Conor Sammon’s early opener to prevail 4-2.
The defeat extended United’s winless run to four games and, speaking ahead of Saturday’s South Yorkshire derby against struggling Barnsley at Oakwell, Blades boss Adkins said: “We’ve got to reflect on what was a bad defeat.
“We’re not where we want to be in the table, and it’s my responsibility as manager to come up with the solutions. We changed personnel and tactics, and it just hasn’t happened for us on Tuesday night.
“The gap between us and the top two is growing and we need to keep in touching distance, but we’re making it harder for ourselves. The players we have here should be good enough, at this level, to go out and win games of football.
“Everyone has to look deeply at themselves and ask themselves why we are in this situation. At the moment, we’re falling well short.
“But now, the next game is the most important thing and whoever is selected this weekend needs to go and get a result at Barnsley.
“And by result, I mean a victory.”
Adkins’ words should not be interpreted as an attempt to shirk responsibility, either.
“I always look at myself, too. All the time,” he said.
“That’s the most important thing. I analyse every game and look at myself, what could have been done better; preparation, tactics, or how we adapted during the game.
“I’ve done that throughout my career. Ultimately, the game is about winning and we’ve got to now go again.”