Sheffield United’s players will not be punished for making mistakes next season, Nigel Adkins has vowed, as they prepare for Saturday’s League One curtain-raiser at Gillingham.
The match, which sees Adkins take charge of the club in a competitive fixture for the first time, represents a test of both his new look squad and the consensual approach he promised after being appointed nine weeks ago.
Pledging to cajole rather than castigate Bramall Lane’s first team squad, Adkins said: “There are so many lessons that you learn by doing things. And by making decisions and mistakes.
“Learning from them means not repeating those mistakes. You have to be bold enough to learn from it.
“I use the word ‘flourish’ and to do that I am looking for five positive experiences and one negative one.
“You have to have a negative experience to improve because that tells me you are prepared to make decisions. And learn those lessons before moving on.”
Adkins has recruited Billy Sharp, Martyn Woolford and Conor Sammon after replacing Nigel Clough at the helm while Neill Collins, who was dropped by his predecessor, has been welcomed back into the side.
“The group has bought into what we want,” Adkins said. “The attitude has been spot on and there is a good camaraderie and we share a common goal.”