Sheffield United: Why Blades will last the pace

Players like Conor Sammon are being exposed to a scientific fitness regime at Bramall Lane �2015 Sport Image all rights reserved
Players like Conor Sammon are being exposed to a scientific fitness regime at Bramall Lane �2015 Sport Image all rights reserved

Nigel Adkins is backing his players to last the distance in this season’s race for the Championship.

The Sheffield United manager issued the prediction after revealing details of an unusual fitness regime which, speaking last night, he attributes to previous promotions at Scunthorpe and Southampton.

Adkins, who led both clubs out of League One before joining United in June, is a qualified physiotherapist and said: “We make sure the players are physically right. With the programme we have, we strive to make sure the players get fitter as the season goes on. It’s served us very well in the past.

“We do, I believe, a lot of preparation. We like to be on the training ground and do a lot of video analysis to reinforce our message. But that fitness is also key.”

With ninth placed United set for a gruelling run of games over the festive period, starting at Wigan Athletic on Boxing Day, Adkins confirmed he will take a dim view should any member of his squad fail to adhere to certain key principles.

“You’ve got to make sure you eat right and recover right,” Adkins continued. “Little niggles might rule you out because the games are so close together. Whoever crosses that white line must be competitive.

“There’s a belief in what we are doing, a belief and a spirit. There’s an understanding that, if everybody does their roles right, it gives us a chance to win games of football.”