NIGEL ADKINS has paid the price for failing to get Sheffield United out of League One after the club and he parted company on Thursday morning.
The decision, announced following discussions between co-owners HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Abdulaziz Al Saud and Kevin McCabe, comes less a week after the club recorded its lowest ever league position for over three decades.
Adkins, 51, took charge of United in June last year.
Despite being installed as promotion favourites soon after his appointment was confirmed, Sunday’s defeat by former club Scunthorpe saw United finish 11th in the table – 19 points behind second-placed Burton Albion.
The Brewers secured promotion under former Blades boss Nigel Clough, who was fired 12 monthe earlier for also failing to get the Blades back into the Championship.
Bramall Lane’s hierarchy will now begin the search for their ninth permanent manager since Neil Warnock’s exit in 2007. Northampton Town’s Chris Wilder is the leading candidate for the role following successful spells at Halifax Town, Oxford United and most recently Sixfields where he achieved promotion from League Two last term.
Wilder was recently granted permission to speak with Charlton Athletic, while Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers are also thought to be keen on acquiring his services.
Adkins began his coaching career with League of Wales outfield Bangor City before returning to management at Glanford Park in November 2006. He twice guided Scunthorpe to promotion before being headhunted by Southampton where he led the Hampshire club from League One to the Premier League in two seasons. Adkins then took over the reins at Reading but was unable to prevent the club being relegated from the top-flight.
A former Tranmere Rovers and Wigan Athletic goalkeeper, he signed a three year contract with United after being unveiled as Nigel Clough’s successor at a media conference in London. Adkins won 22 of his 54 matches as United manager with 14 of those fixtures ending in a draw.