Nigel Adkins has outlined the tactical template which, he believes, can propel Sheffield United into the Championship next season, writes James Shield.
And, despite acknowledging he is planning changes for this evening’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie at Hartlepool, the United manager last night insisted the principles which govern his team’s performance must remain the same.
“The ball is king,” Adkins said. “Whoever has got it controls the game. You’ve got to treat it with respect when you’ve got it and, when you don’t, work hard and show complete and utter desire to get it back. That’s why I like to see us playing it our from the back rather than playing a long ball. Because that’s a ‘sharing’ ball. A gamble with possession that, more often than not, you don’t need to take. Don’t get me wrong, there’s different ways to play the game. There isn’t a ‘right’ way or a ‘wrong’ way to go about things at all.”
The decision to postpone this weekend’s meeting with Colchester due to international call-ups has granted Adkins more wriggle room when it comes to selecting his starting eleven for the game against Ronnie Moore’s side. Conceivably, the likes of Billy Sharp and Chris Basham could be asked to take part in order to avoid ring-rust but Adkins is expected to resist the temptation, preferring instead to deploy those presently on the fringes of his squad.
“Whoever we select, we want to win the game,” Adkins said. “We have a squad of players who all have important roles to play for us.”