Blades haven’t given up on targets, says boss

Fulham's Dan Burn tussles with Sheffield United's Martyn Woolford
Fulham's Dan Burn tussles with Sheffield United's Martyn Woolford

Nigel Adkins, the Sheffield United manager, has indicated he will look to resurrect deals for his leading targets when the emergency loan window opens next week after failing to secure them on a permanent basis before last night’s transfer deadline.

As The Star revealed yesterday, Adkins acknowledged “conversations” had taken place about acquiring Dan Burn but refused to be drawn on whether the Fulham defender remains a realistic option.

And Adkins, speaking after his side advanced to the second round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Hartlepool, issued a passionate defence of United’s recruitment policy, saying: “We’ve identified a couple of targets and we tried to drive them through. There were hard negotiations going on but unfortunately there’s a deadline and with one (player) there was a little clause in a contract that we just couldn’t get across the board.

“However, I must highlight the excellent work of [managing director] Mal Brannigan. I’m pushing and the board are pushing but we’ve got a good group and we want to improve it. So we don’t just want to sign players willy nilly simply for the sake of getting something done.”

“He [Burn] played against us in the Capital One Cup last week,” Adkins continued. “Conversations go on that are private but it was clear, late on, that he wasn’t going to come out because other clubs need to do their business. It’s a scenario where we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

“There’s that and another player I was really excited about getting over the line. I know from my point of view that the football club have gone above and well beyond to try and get them here.”

United won the first round tie on penalties after Scott Fenwick’s goal had cancelled-out Ryan Flynn’s first-half opener for the visitors.

Underlining his commitment to the committment to the competition, Adkins said: “I wanted to win and I made that clear to the players. But likewise, it’s important to emphasise, in terms of the players, that we also needed to do the right thing by the football club. I know how beneficial this tournament can be and we’ve got the utmost desire and respect for it.”