Alan Biggs at Large: Popular boss Nigel Adkins can provide fresh impetus at Sheffield United

Nigel Adkins
Nigel Adkins

A year ago this column had Sheffield United automatically promoted and no messing.

It will spare Blades followers from anything so strident and fate-tempting this time around. Attempt number five is a statement of difficulty in itself.

But I’m struggling here and not only because, once again, United should have the strength and resources for the job.

Above all, League One looks a good deal more escapable than it did 12 months ago.

Only Wigan of the trio relegated from the Championship look predictably threatening, as they should be on their budget after an unexpected two-division slide.

Millwall, and certainly Blackpool, won’t strike fear – and neither, at face value, will newly promoted clubs Burton, Shrewsbury, Bury and Southend.

Then again, Nigel Adkins’ side will appeal as big scalps – as they will be for the five regional opponents who will compress another ten troublesome derbies into the next nine months.

All of this is not to be under-estimated, as learned from bitter experience.

However, a change of mind set and mood among players and supporters, which so often comes with a popular choice of manager, should provide some impetus. Adkins knows the route as a well-trodden path.

You’d have to be confident, wouldn’t you?