Sheffield United boss Adkins plays down link to Leeds United’s Sharp

Nigel Adkins meets the media at Bramall Lane.
Nigel Adkins meets the media at Bramall Lane.
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New Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins is staying quiet on potential transfer targets until he has a chance to assess the current Blades squad.

United return for pre-season training on June 29 and Adkins wants to work with the players on the training ground before making any moves in the transfer market.

Talking to the media yesterday at Bramall Lane, where Adkins spoke to The Yorkshire Post, the former Scunthorpe United and Southampton manager said looking at last season’s statistics gave him some ideas on areas the Blades could improve.

United only scored 66 goals last term, in 46 games, the lowest in the top six. Champions Bristol City netted 96 goals, while Preston North End bagged 101.

The need for a 20-goal-a-season striker has been obvious for some time at Bramall Lane, and former Blades striker Billy Sharp - who has worked with Adkins at three previous clubs in Scunthorpe United, Southampton and Reading - has already been touted with a move back to Sheffield.

“I have looked at the stats (from last season) and off the back of that you can see we didn’t score enough goals, and conceded too many,” Adkins said.

“It’s a case of put the ball in the back of the net at one end, and keep it out at the other end.”

Adkins refused to speculate on Sharp, currently at Leeds United, but it would seem to be a partnership that has worked well previously.

“Billy is a Leeds United player as it stands,” said Adkins. “Yes, I did have him at Scunthorpe - I actually sold him to Sheffield United - and I managed to bring him in at Southampton, where he scored those valuable goals which helped get us to the Premier League.

“I took him on loan for a period too at Reading. He’s a player that I know, a great lad and scores goals.

“But he is a Leeds United football player and I think, just at this moment in time - and I know everyone is going to talk about when are you going to sign a player - it’s better for me to keep my counsel and avoid being linked to players.

“That allows me to ascertain the group of players we have got, and where the finances can be utilised in the correct manner for the players that have become available.”

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