Nigel Adkins says he will not hesitate to wield the axe again if players fail to adhere to Sheffield United’s strict code of conduct.
Adkins, the United manager, issued the warning despite vowing to “protect” Che Adams after an off-the-pitch indiscretion led to him being dropped for Tuesday’s match against League One leaders Burton Albion.
Insisting that matter is now resolved - “We’ve dealt with it and moved on” - Adkins told The Star: “Everybody is aware of what I’m looking for from a discipline point of view. It’s very important, discipline. It’s part of taking pride in representing the football club.
“I’m big on that but I’ll protect the players too. Players know what I expect from them. We want everyone to strive to be at the highest level possible. It’s all part of that.”
Adams, an England under-20 international, could return to action at Port Vale this weekend after joining Matt Done and Florent Cuvelier in the under-21 squad which faced Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday.
“This situation arose and we’ve dealt with it and moved on,” Adkins said. “Like everything in life, you need five positive experiences and one negative experience to learn from.”
Adkins, who also confirmed Jose Baxter has recovered from a groin complaint, insisted the return of players such as Paul Coutts, Ryan Flynn and Done had eased the pressure on United to make a quick entry into the emergency loan market.
Although officials at Bramall Lane privately believe one target, Fulham’s Dan Burn, will not be allowed to leave Craven Cottage until next year, they have held further talks with Leicester City aimed at signing Dean Hammond. The midfielder is thought to have signalled his interest in joining United but, while City will allow him to leave, sources in the Midlands last night reported their desire to review his future again in January could prove a stumbling block with Adkins known to prefer more concrete arrangements.
“Matty was on the bench on Tuesday, possibly a little bit too early, but people know the circumstances,” Adkins said. “He played for the under-21’s a day later so that was great. It’s given him gametime against competitive opposition. He’s in the mindset for the group of games we’ve got coming up.
“It’s another player we’re getting back and that’s great. These are players who can make a big impact moving forward.
“We keep talking about who we might be getting in on loan but, the nice thing is, we’re almost getting a new player back every week now. Quality players who can make an impact too.”