Nigel Adkins has insisted rules governing selection policy in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy will not prevent him “doing what is right” by Sheffield United.
Adkins, the United manager is required to name six players who started last weekend’s League One game against Port Vale in his starting eleven when Notts County visit Bramall Lane this evening.
Speaking ahead of the second round tie, he appeared to reserve the right not to comply with the controversial legislation but argued that should not be interpreted as a mark of disrespect towards a competition he “understands” and “appreciates.”
“We want to go a long way and the players have been made well aware of that,” Adkins said. “It’s important to emphasise that we want to win and also do what’s right by our club. We want to win every single game we are involved in but we also want to give players opportunities to get better and improve. You can marry the two.”
Adkins guided Scunthorpe to the final of the JPT in 2009, where they faced Luton Town, before masterminding the north Lincolnshire club’s promotion to the Championship later that year.
Highlighting his decision to introduce United’s leading goalscorer Billy Sharp during the closing stages of their victory over Hartlepool in the previous round, Adkins said: “That goes to show how much we wanted to go through. The last time I was in this competition we got to the final and got promoted so I understand and appreciate how beneficial it can be.”
Adkins’ counterpart at County, Ricardo Moniz, also mounted a staunch defence of the tournament yesterday.
“That’s strange,” he replied when informed of its standing among some clubs. “Why is it not a glamorous competition?
“The final is at Wembley and Notts County have to win things. “We must be proud of this cup and show our qualities.”