Nigel Adkins, the Sheffield United manager, will not order Chris Basham to curb his competitive instincts despite being just one caution away from an automatic ban.
But, speaking ahead of this afternoon’s match against a Port Vale team he describes as “very dangerous opponents,” Adkins revealed he has warned the visitors’ squad that displays of indiscipline could have a detrimental effect upon their results.
“You need to be competitive,” Adkins told The Star. “But you also need to avoid stupid bookings.
“Discipline is a big thing. Don’t give stupid free-kicks away. Do everything that you can to eliminate those and injuries.
“They all take their toll over the course of a season. In this division, where through necessity clubs don’t carry huge squads, it’s a long grind and you want as many people to be available all the time.”
Basham, who escaped his fifth yellow card of the campaign when United drew with League One leaders Burton Albion on Tuesday evening. Matt Done, an unused substitute against Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side, could contention to make his first senior appearance since May after recovering from a fractured collarbone. Jose Baxter is also available for selection following a groin complaint.
United remained sixth in the table following their trip to the Pirelli Stadium while Vale, managed by former Bramall Lane captain Robert Page, are 13th.
Adkins, whose players host Notts County in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Tuesday, said: “Port Vale are very dangerous. I highlight this all the time, every game is a challenge. We endeavour to win every game but we must respect the opposition too.”
“We’re going to Port Vale, with a very big pitch, and we’re determined to keep chipping away,” Adkins added. “If we do that, and get the wins, then come the end of the season we’ll be where we want to be.
“At this moment, we’re not looking at the bigger picture. Just the next game and trying to get three points. We’ve got a game on Tuesday and it’s a grind. But we embrace it and enjoy the challenges we are facing.”