Coventry City v Sheffield United: Coventry sacking still leaves sour taste for Adams

Championship: MICKY ADAMS admits that his relationship with Coventry City was soured by events leading up to his departure as manager four years ago.

Adams, now in charge of his hometown club Sheffield United, spent four years with the Sky Blues as a player in the Eighties and returned to the club for a two-year spell as manager in 2005.

However, despite saving Coventry from relegation to League One and then securing its highest league position in the last 10 years, Adams was sacked the following season with the club sitting mid-table in the Championship.

Speaking ahead of his return to the Ricoh Arena with the Blades – almost four years to the day since his controversial exit – Adams revealed that he had still not forgiven certain club officials over his treatment.

"The only unfinished business I have there is with some people behind the scenes," he said.

"I don't see it as a revenge mission because I am not emotional in that way and I just want to do a job for Sheffield United – but there are people behind the scenes that I would rather not see. What happened was they sold my best players without consulting me," he recalled. "Gary McSheffrey, James Scowcroft and Dennis Wise – although not for money. That's all I'm going to say.

"From finishing eighth in the table, we lost three of our better players. When you have been a player at any football club, there is an affinity there. What happened soured that a little bit – but for nothing other than the facts I have given you.

"The fans were great and they are decent fans," he added. "They have been long suffering since they left the Premier League. They have seen various managers come and go but I tried my best there under difficult circumstances. My departure wasn't a happy one but I think that I can hold my head up high for the job I did."

Over the last four seasons, Coventry have failed to finish any higher than 17th in the Championship table but, under the guidance of their latest manager Aidy Bothroyd, are currently sitting 11th in the table albeit without a win in the last six games.

"It will be a bit strange going and using the away dressing-room although I will be taking Sheffield United there and will be proud to do so," said Adams, who will be seeking his first win after three games in charge.

Bothroyd, meanwhile, has expressed his admiration for Adams saying: "He's been around a lot longer than a lot of people think and he's got a really good record. I like him, he's a little battler and he wants his teams to fight and play hard. Micky has obviously just gone in there and he'll be renewing acquaintances coming back here.

"It will be quite an occasion for him but we've just got to make sure that we play the game."

Defenders Joe Mattock and Shane Lowry are both likely to start for the Blades this afternoon after arriving on loan deals until the end of the season from West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa, respectively.

Adams had only 12 senior players available for last weekend's FA Cup third round defeat against Villa but his squad is further boosted by the return from injuries and suspension of Stephen Quinn, Richard Cresswell, Mark Yeates and Matty Lowton.

The Blades also signed striker Danny Philliskirk, 19, on a month's loan from Chelsea this week and, yesterday, announced the arrival of defender Marc Warren, 18, on a two-year deal from sister club Central Coast Mariners.

Warren, a left-back, has represented Australia at Under-20 level and impressed during a spell on trial with the Blades earlier this season.

The Blades were beaten 1-0 by Coventry at Bramall Lane in October and are keen to avoid a first league 'double' at the hands of the Midlanders since the 2001-02 season.

There has been no transfer activity at the Ricoh Arena so far this window although Bothroyd failed with a bid for Colchester United left-back Marc Tierney.

blues return: Sheffield United manager Micky Adams returns to Coventry City today, the club where he was sacked as boss in 2005.picture: Tony Johnson