Adkins made the claim as United prepare for Saturday’s visit to Scunthorpe, the club where he won the first two promotions of his professional managerial career.
Citing the contributions of substitutes Billy Sharp, Stefan Scougall and Ryan Flynn as a key factor behind last weekend’s victory over Coventry City, Adkins said: “The difference can be someone coming on for the final 30 minutes or so and injecting something. Making a real difference to the game and swinging the balance in your favour.
“Stefan did that, Billy did that and, towards the end, Ryan did too. It’s vital to have that different dynamic and, if you want to achieve something, you need everyone to be switched on to that idea. It really is all about the group.”
Sharp is expected to start this weekend’s match against Scunthorpe where, having progressed through Bramall Lane’s youth system, he was an intergral part of Adkins’ success. Scougall and Flynn could also be set for more prominent roles; particularly if Jose Baxter is again absent due to a combination of fitness and disciplinary issues.
“Every club that has that mentality, that group ideal, gives itself a chance of doing something,” Adkins said.