Nigel Adkins has insisted he remains the right person to lead Sheffield United back into the Championship.
But, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s League One fixture against Doncaster Rovers, the former Southampton and Scunthorpe chief warned it will take time to implement his blueprint for success at Bramall Lane.
Adkins became United’s fourth permanent manager in less than five years when he was appointed eight months ago and, amid calls for change among sections of the club’s support, he said: “I like to think I’m a safe pair of hands. I’ve shown consistency and I’m a very loyal individual which is important too.
“You need a plan and you need a strategy. Then you need to work it through.
“The past seven or eight months have been very beneficial because I understand the club more now.”
Pointing to his promotions at both Glanford Park and St Mary’s, where he led Southampton from the third to the first tier of English football in two seasons, Adkins added: “Sometimes, you can’t change everything in one go. I’ve been course and distance in this division before. I know what is required at this level and also the level above.
“Sometimes it just takes a little bit longer than the magic wand effect that everybody wants and would like you to have. The immediacy of the modern world.”
United travel to the Keepmoat Stadium 11th in the table and searching for only their second win of 2016. With many observers citing United’s failure to adopt a clear long-term plan as a primary factor behind their recent troubles, Adkins said: “Maybe we have got to that period where we work though it and trust the people in charge. We understand and appreciate the supporters want something special. (Louis) van Gaal was interviewed the other day and he talked about how it didn’t happen straight away for Sir Alex Ferguson. Arsene Wenger has been at Arsenal a long time and our predecessors here who did so well, Neil (Warnock) and Dave (Bassett) were too. But maybe it didn’t quite work to begin with.”
“I’ve got a three year contract and I must say both owners have been very supportive.” Adkins added. “I’ve been employed because I’ve got a track record. Change me, bring someone else in and we’ll still be in the same situation.
“I think, across football, the tenure of a manager is now something like 10 months. But, realistically, it will always take longer.”