Adkins’ warning to his goal-happy side

Sheffield United's Neill Collins celebrates scoring his sides third goal -  against Rochdale on Saturday
Sheffield United's Neill Collins celebrates scoring his sides third goal - against Rochdale on Saturday

With an average of almost four goals scored per game in their last three home matches, Sheffield United are threatening to establish a reputation as one of League One’s great entertainers.

But manager Nigel Adkins has warned his side that failure to tighten up at the other end of the field could wreck their dreams of promotion to the Championship this season.

United triumphed for the second time in a week on Saturday, beating Rochdale 3-2 just five days after their 5-1 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy demolition of Notts County.

But Adkins’ side didn’t have things all their own way against fellow promotion hopefuls Dale, as the visitors twice drew level thanks to captain Peter Vincenti and Lewis Alessandra.

The United manager was pleased with his side’s response to the setbacks - Che Adams scored his second goal three minutes after Vincenti’s penalty, and Collins struck just moments after Alessandra’s scrappy strike - but warned: “We need to keep more clean sheets.

“But we’ve been talking about this all season. That’s as a team; we’re not going to highlight individuals.

“Credit to the players, though; at 1-1 and 2-2, their heads could have dropped but instead, they went down the other end and got us back ahead.

“Sometimes, it does go against you; that’s football. But it’s about how you respond, and the players certainly responded in the right manner. So credit to them for that.

“We have the capabilities to play, no doubt, but we had to roll our sleeves up and battle against Rochdale at times.

“If everyone does that, then we’ll give ourselves a chance.”

Adkins, whose side return to League One action this weekend at Oldham, will be forced into defensive changes for the visit to Boundary Park.

Jay McEveley left Bramall Lane on Saturday on crutches and sporting a protective boot after an ankle injury, with an x-ray set to reveal the full extent of the damage before United travel over the Pennines.

Barring illness or injury, that will mean a recall for Kieran Wallace, the former Ilkeston midfielder who again impressed at left-back at the weekend.

Meanwhile, United’s U21s progressed in the Premier League Cup after a 4-3 victory at Bolton Wanderers last night.

United scored twice in either half, with Joel Coustrain, Ben Whiteman, Otis Khan and Jake Wright on target.