Sheffield United: Adkins ready for backlash

Nigel Adkins at the Keepmoat Stadium
Nigel Adkins at the Keepmoat Stadium

Nigel Adkins has warned Sheffield United to expect a “backlash” from Bury at Gigg Lane tonight.

David Flitcroft’s side enter the game having conceded nine goals in their last two outings after being humiliated 6-0 by Coventry City last weekend.

But Adkins, whose players could move to within touching distance of the play-off positions if they heap more misery on their League One rivals, told The Star: “There will be a response from them (Bury). Don’t be in any doubt whatsoever about that.

“I don’t care what anyone else says or thinks it might look like. I’ve read what their manager has had to say about that result and we are preparing for a very tough game.”

Flitcroft apologised to his team’s supporters following Saturday’s collapse, branding Bury’s performance as “unacceptable” before vowing to “come out fighting” against eighth-placed United tonight.

Adkins, who is waiting to discover whether leading scorer Billy Sharp will be available for selection after missing the victory over Doncaster Rovers through injury, added: “First things first, we have got to be ready to compete. To impose ourselves on what is happening and you do that through strength, character, togetherness and desire. Those are qualities we are going to have to show here. We’ve shown them in the past and we’ve got to show them again.”

Despite the high-stakes - United are five points behind Millwall, in sixth, with 16 matches remaining - Adkins could again rely on youngsters Che Adams, Louis Reed and Dominic Calvert-Lewin after all three impressed at the Keepmoat Stadium.

“We’ll look after them the right way,” he said. “We will do what’s right by them and the club.”