IT WAS during his ill-fated 11-month spell at Sheffield United that Nigel Adkins famously labelled the 2015-16 season at Bramall Lane as a ‘Bladeacoaster’ on social media.
It referenced the bumpy ride that Blades supporters endured in that campaign, which – let us be honest – had rather more downs than ups.
As for the mindset of fans of his new club, Hull City? Well, it is fair to say that they are pretty queasy following a white-knuckle experience over the past 17 months, with Adkins being the club’s fifth managerial appointment in that time.
How they crave a ship-steadying time, at least on the pitch, as the Tigers desperately seek to avoid the horrific fate of back-to-back relegations from the Premier League to League One. They have had their fill of rollercoasters.
Adkins’s glass-is-half-full positivity is radiant even during the bleakest of hours and a few uplifting messages or two will not be a bad thing.
Adkins, as has been his wont, is someone who is not afraid to think outside of the box in order to help achieve results or gain an extra psychological edge to improve the well-being of himself and his players.Leon Wobschall
They are likely to receive a receptive ear from a confidence-sapped Hull squad who are doing it tough following a painful return of two wins in 15 Championship outings and no victories in their past seven games.
The Tigers plainly require a stronger mentality and Adkins’s first job will be to inject some badly-needed belief into his players, who have seemingly forgotten what is like to see out a game.
Adkins, as has been his wont, is someone who is not afraid to think outside of the box in order to help achieve results or gain an extra psychological edge to improve the well-being of himself and his players.
Famously, during his time at Southampton, when questioned about how he handled stress during a downturn, he gave a rendition of the poem ‘The Man in the Glass’ by Dale Wimbrow, to the astonishment of the assembled press corps. But in the here and now, Hull require deeds and points, not words.
In his time in Sheffield, Adkins spoke of the need for patience in a slow-burner of a season. He had a justifiable point with the Liverpudlian wrestling with the fact that his bloated squad was top-heavy and needed to be more streamlined and meaner to turn it into a firm promotion contender.
But in the final analysis, fans ran out of patience with his project and so did his board, who lost faith in his ability to get the Blades out of League One.
Time was more readily available during his time at Southampton, where he impressively overcame a slow start to be promoted in 2010-11. And then again, the following season.
At Hull, the clock is ticking and the time is in short supply. Answers will be required pretty fast in a 26-match season when the main priority is to avoid the drop.
Then, Adkins can start building again as he famously did at Saints and, way back when, not that too far away from Hull over in Scunthorpe.