Doncaster Rovers v Sheffield United: Clubs need to adopt long-term approach – Adkins

Nigel Adkins: You need to have a plan and a strategy, says the Sheffield United chief.
Nigel Adkins: You need to have a plan and a strategy, says the Sheffield United chief.
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ANYONE seeking further proof about the precarious nature of football management has conclusively received it this week.

Three more managers have left their positions, taking the seasonal departures tally at 92 clubs across the land to a worrying 42 – a statistic that should be an unnerving one to managers and supporters alike.

For Nigel Adkins, under scrutiny following a run of one win in seven matches in all competitions, with his Sheffield United side languishing in 11th place in the League One table and with plenty of work to do, that number might be somewhat pertinent.

Long-term planning is anathema in many boardrooms in modern-day football and Adkins’s steadfast belief that it is a quality that needs to surface is not just a sentiment borne out of self-preservation, but more a wider concern that the mindset of football hierarchies needs to change.

It is a particularly salient point for the Blades, who have had eight managers in the past eight-and-a-half years.

Adkins, the longest serving manager in South Yorkshire, despite only being appointed last June, said: “I’d like to think I am a safe pair of hands who has shown a level of consistency over my career and I am a very loyal person.

“But it takes a bit of time and you need to have a plan and strategy and you need to work through it.

“I am understanding more about the supporters and the ways of this football club and how we can take things forward because that’s my goal. I want to be back in the Premier League with Sheffield United and get promoted this year.

“I think that across football, the average tenure of a manager – the LMA (League Managers’ Association) put something out not so long ago – is something like 10 months. Looking at it realistically, if you are trying to build a squad of players and a team, you can’t just do that in one go.

“The immediacy is to try and build more than a team, but a football club.

“It helps if you have that philosophy running through the football club.

“It is also about the players and the right recruitment and it is so important. I know what I want.”