Nigel Adkins, the Sheffield United manager, has conceded that making a breakthrough in the transfer market could reinvigorate his team’s promotion push.
But, acknowledging there is a “big desire” among the League One club’s supporters to see new faces arrive at Bramall Lane, Adkins warned that rules governing the emergency loan system meant the situation is not as straight forward as might first appear.
United enter tomorrow’s game at Doncaster Rovers ranked 11th in the table, five points behind sixth-placed Millwall and under intense scrutiny following their failure to secure any of the players identified as potential acquisitions before the deadline for permanent signings earlier this month.
“There’s no doubt bringing someone in would give everybody a big lift,” Adkins said. “I know the owners and other people behind the scenes are trying very hard to make that happen. Likewise, it’s got to be the right person because I’ve got to put them in the team and so they’ve got to be able to do the business.”
Fulham’s Dan Burn is Adkins’ primary target although other options at Championship level are also thought to have been considered despite the problems caused by the inflated salaries now being paid throughout England’s second tier.
“The 93 days rule makes things interesting,” Adkins continued. “If you bring someone in now, then you will lose them for the play-offs. But likewise, if you don’t, then you might not even get there. Those are some of the variables that we’ve got to consider and find the right way through.”
United, beaten by Wigan Athletic last weekend, received some welcome news ahead of their visit to the Keepmoat Stadium after defenders Bob Harris and Kieran Wallace both confirmed their availability after recovering from injury. Harris featured alongside Florent Cuvelier, Louis Reed and Dominic Calvert-Lewin when the under-21’s overcame Nottingham Forest on Monday afternoon. But Stefan Scougall is expected to miss the game against Rovers due to a leg complaint.
Adkins said: “There’s a big desire out there that we do something in the market. It would give everyone I gee-up. Likewise, there are players we have here who haven’t played for a while and who we could bring in.
That would also be like having a new player in many ways and could have the same effect.”