From Sunday morning debrief sessions to mobile phone applications detailing players’ dietary habits, Nigel Adkins is known for his meticulous preparation.
The Sheffield United manager’s efforts to ensure his first-team squad secures promotion this season has also prompted him to introduce a new dress code behind the scenes at Bramall Lane. Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s meeting with Crewe Alexandra, he explained the psychological undertones behind the move.
“It reinforces the idea of being part of a team,” Adkins said. “It’s shows we are all together and united as a group. In nature as well as name.
“We’ve been doing it since coming in and I think it’s a good thing. We’re trying to raise the bar in everything we do.”
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a fashion parade,” Adkins added. “It’s not about people turning up wearing different clothes and trying to out-do each other. So, before the campaign started, the club got everybody fitted out with the same suit. I also think, if you look smart and show that respect for yourself, it helps put you in the right frame to go out there and do your job too. So the lads are now kitted out in nice new suits for home games and then the same travelling track suits for away games.”
United travel to Gresty Road ranked six while Steve Davis’ side, beaten 1-0 in the corresponding fixture last season, are bottom of the table after winning only two of their opening 17 matches in all competitions.
“We’ve prepared well as always,” Adkins said. “We’ve studied what Crewe do, what their strengths and weaknesses are but, once again, the emphasis is on accentuating what we do well. We want the players to have all the knowledge available about their opponents because that does help without a doubt. But the focus is always on us.”