Sheffield United boss reveals play-off hangover at Bramall Lane

Nigel Adkins takes training (Picture: Blades Sports Photography)
Nigel Adkins takes training (Picture: Blades Sports Photography)
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NIGEL ADKINS admits several of his new Sheffield United players are still feeling the after-effects of last season.

The Blades reached the semi-finals of the League One play-offs and the Capital One Cup in what proved to be a draining campaign.

Adkins took charge in the wake of Nigel Clough’s dismissal and has overseen the first week of pre-season training.

The new manager has declared himself delighted with the mindset and professionalism of the squad he inherited from Clough but admits several players have been troubled with niggling injuries already.

He said: “We played 65 games last season. On the back of that, it might take some to get themselves up to the condition we are looking for after a break.

“We are also carrying a few niggles. Ryan Flynn, for instance, has not been able to train with us yet because of an Achilles injury he had last season.

“So, we are having to manage that. It is just one example. There is also (John) Brayford in a brace (due to a knee problem), Terry Kennedy is recovering from a knee injury.

“Then, we also have four or five carrying niggles from last season. We will get them right. I don’t want to divulge their names but everyone is showing a fantastic honesty.

“There is a good camaraderie and that comes off being together for quite some time. It gives us a head start from my point of view.”

Adkins, linked with Billy Sharp this summer with Leeds United understood to want Jamie Murphy to move in the opposite direction, took his side away to Champneys health spa last week as part of the club’s preparations for 2015-16.

He added: “It was great to go down to Hallam University and do some fitness testing, body compositions. That was my first opportunity to sit meet the players.

“It is a starting point for us and on the back of that we went to Champneys for four days. I have gone there for nine years now and there are great facilities. It is a chance to get everyone focused.

“Players have shown an honesty towards working hard. They want to do well so we have been able to train, recover and have loads of meetings as well.

“The objective has been to assess the squad we have and already we have formulated a very good idea about the players. I like the honesty and the willingness to do well.”