Nigel Adkins has urged Sheffield United supporters to put their grievances aside when his team face Wigan Athletic tomorrow.
Adkins issued the plea after acknowledging frustrations over the club’s failure to secure any of its transfer targets before Monday’s deadline could have a negative effect on the atmosphere inside Bramall Lane during the crucial League One fixture.
United enter the game two points outside the play-offs and trailing second-placed Walsall by 14 but, insisting promotion remains a realistic target, Adkins said: “You have to keep believing because if you don’t then you won’t achieve. If you want to surround yourself with negativity then that’s what the outcome will be. We want to get promoted and we have a strong squad of players. Yes, we wanted to bring a couple in and it didn’t happen. But are we going to keep whingeing about it or are we going to take the bull by the horns and look to crack on? That’s what I’m going to do. You’ve got to believe we are going to be successful this season. I do.”
Adkins added: “I know, for example, some supporters will be coming with a negative mindset. That, if the slightest thing goes wrong, the atmosphere could go a way that’s not beneficial to the team. We’ve got 18 games left and a group of lads who are having a go. Our supporters are part of the team. Come the final whistle, everyone has the right to an opinion. But, at this moment in time, we need everyone to be strong and behind the players because they are the ones who need to do the business on the pitch.”
Adkins, who took charge in June, insisted his words should not be interpreted as a criticism of the backing United have received this term or an indication they are concerned about playing at Bramall Lane.
“It’s a fantastic arena, an unbelievable place to play your football. We’ve seen what a strong force this place can be. That it can be a place where the supporters can suck the ball into the net and drive the players on. We need that now. Everyone, the supporters, the team and the owners, has the same goal. What can I, what can we, what can you do to help make that happen?”