Nigel Adkins has rubbished claims he wants to leave Sheffield United this summer.
Instead, speaking ahead of today’s game against Gillingham, the South Yorkshire club’s manager revealed plans to build a lasting dynasty at Bramall Lane.
Expressing bewilderment when asked whether reports he is ready to part company with United by mutual consent only 10 months after taking charge are correct - “That’s the first I’ve ever heard of it” - Adkins said: “I’ve got a three year deal. I’ve got no thoughts of going anywhere else. None whatsoever.
“For me, when I got that three year contract the remit was to get us to the next level. Yes, we would all rather be in the top two now but unfortunately we aren’t. After this season, I’ve got another two years and I want to be here for a long time. That’s the only thing on my mind.”
United were installed as the pre-season title favourites when Adkins was appointed in June. But, after a difficult first season at the helm, they enter this afternoon’s match eighth in the League One table and eight points behind sixth-placed Millwall with only six fixtures remaining.
Despite acknowledging they face an uphill struggle to reach the play-offs, Adkins has steadfastly refused to dismiss United’s chances of competing at Championship level next term.
“We will get ourselves to the next level,” he said. “This football club will be moving in the right direction, definitely.”
Using United’s investment in home-grown talent to underline his message about the importance of longevity, Adkins added: “It’s vital there’s a pathway through and we have created that, or helped to create that, because we want to build something here. If all you are interested in is the short-term, then that’s not something you do is it.”