Nigel Adkins last night fired a warning shot across the bows of his League One rivals by claiming Sheffield United have forced themselves into promotion contention despite being unable to select a full-strength team.
Adkins, who yesterday dispatched Michael Higdon to Oldham Athletic on loan, insisted Bramall Lane’s squad will become an even more formidable proposition when the likes of John Brayford, Paul Coutts and Matthew Done recover from injury.
“There are some very good players who we’ve not even been able to use yet,” Adkins said. “We’re pleased to see Paul becoming available again while Matty, Bob (Harris) and John Brayford also haven’t been at our disposal and Che (Adams) has been out for three or four games.
“We need competition for the strength of the squad.”
With Adams, withdrawn after 45 minutes of Tuesday’s Professional Development League victory over Cardiff City on Tuesday, Adkins is expected to unleash the teenager when Doncaster Rovers visit Bramall Lane this weekend. Adams contracted a virus after returning from international duty with England under-20’s earlier this month.
United enter Saturday’s game five points behind leaders Burton Albion and Adkins said: “It was a pretty bad virus and knocked Che sideways. He only had two very brief periods on the grass before our last game (at Bradford) and having seen the quality and standard, he wouldn’t have lasted.”
Higdon is scheduled to spend the next three months at Boundary Park.