Adams laments Blades’ costly late failure to communicate in defence

Sheffield United V Millwall ... United's Daniel Bogdanovic sending David Forde the wrong way to score'See Story Ian Appleyard     Picture by Chris Lawton  12 Feb   2011
Sheffield United V Millwall ... United's Daniel Bogdanovic sending David Forde the wrong way to score'See Story Ian Appleyard Picture by Chris Lawton 12 Feb 2011
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SHEFFIELD United manager Micky Adams admits the long wait for his first victory at the club has become ‘a monkey’ on his back.

The Blades boss is still waiting for a win after play-off chasing visitors Millwall grabbed a last-minute equaliser at Bramall Lane on Saturday.

Adams, who has been in charge for eight games, is already under pressure to turn things around with his struggling side sitting three points adrift of safety in the Championship relegation zone.

Putting on a brave face after this latest setback, Adams insisted it is only a matter of time before results start to improve.

“Sooner or later something is going to drop for us,” he said. “We were the better side in this game and I thought we had done enough to win the game.

“We were so close and it’s hard to take that we have tossed away two points in the dying minutes. There was nothing wrong with the spirit – whether we are good enough or not is another matter.

“At the moment, I am not a very good manager,” he added. “What I need to be is a lucky manager. At the moment, I am having no luck.”

The Blades, who host Reading tomorrow night, took the lead courtesy of a controversial penalty converted by Daniel Bogdanovic on 77 minutes but Millwall substitute Kevin Lisbie equalised in the 90th minute from a corner.

Adams said: “Corners and freekicks have been an Achilles heel of ours all season. We are not showing the desire in both boxes either attacking or defending. That is simply not good enough. If you have not got that, you have got a problem.

“We need cool heads and players who know their jobs and carry them out.

“They had a spare man in the box – that we can all see – yet we still have people on the edge of the box who should have been marking. It was a lack of communication between the boys and it has cost us. Three points would have got the monkey off my back, but forget about me – it’s about the players, the supporters and the club and a win would have been welcome relief for everyone.”

Reflecting on the positives, Adams added: “At least we were in a winning position instead of chasing a game.

“And Millwall are no mugs, they were seventh in the table. We have gone toe-to-toe and kept their strikers quiet.

“We have picked up a point and we have to keep trying to do the right things and hopefully our fortunes will change. They are all crucial games now and we have to retain the belief that if we work hard it will turn for us.”

The majority of the other results over the weekend were a boost for the Blades with four out of the club’s five nearest rivals all suffering defeats (Preston North End, Scunthorpe United, Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough). Only Portsmouth, who inflicted a 2-0 defeat on Doncaster Rovers, pulled away from trouble.

“When we heard about the other results, it was disappointing to think what we had lost,” said Adams. “But we still have a game in hand and if we win that we go above Palace.”

Adams praised the vocal support that had been provided by the club’s fans but also expressed dismay at the jeers which followed his decision to substitute striker Ched Evans.

“I was disappointed with the reaction when I took Ched off but he had been ill,” Adams stressed. “Ched pulled out of the Welsh squad last Wednesday due to a virus so has done well lasting the amount of time he has lasted. Fans are entitled to their opinion but those are the facts.”

He also explained the omission of striker Jamie Ward from the 18-man squad, saying it had nothing to do with a reported bust-up prior to last week’s loss at Ipswich.

“Wardy’s wife was pregnant and had the baby on Friday morning,” he said. “He had been up 48 hours. Modern-day footballers all want to be there so he was given the time off to be with his wife and baby.”

Millwall manager Kenny Jackett, meanwhile, was far from happy with the performance of referee Darren Deadman.

He criticised the decision to award the Blades a penalty saying defender Paul Robinson had not fouled Daniel Bogdanovic.

“It was a poor decision. It was embarrassing, it was bad,” said Jackett. “Paul had turned and was running. There was no block.”

Overall, however, Jackett felt a draw at Bramall Lane should be a source of satisfaction for the London club.

“It shows how far we have come as a club that we are disappointed to come to Sheffield United and only get a draw,” he said.

Match report: Page 4.