Nigel Adkins believes Sheffield United are destined to regain their top-flight status providing a new era of stability is ushered in at Bramall Lane.
And the former Southampton and Scunthorpe chief, the club’s eighth permanent manager since being relegated from the Premier League in 2007, claimed restoring its place among the English game’s elite would be just reward for its “phenomenal” support.
Although Adkins’ team visits Southend tonight facing an uphill struggle to reach the League One play-offs, he told The Star: “This club will get back there, without a shadow of a doubt. Over a period of time we’ll get back one, to the Championship and two, all being well, back into the Premier League. When we get back in to the Premier League, I don’t know, but I know we will, yes.
“We need stability, yes, because all clubs need that. But with that stability, we can build and move forward.”
“Without a shadow of a doubt, it will happen,” Adkins added. “This is a fantastic football club with a superb infrastructure and a phenomenal fan base. We are desperate to give them something to cheer about.
“We are in League One and have been for a few years now. Too long. But they still turn out in their numbers and are proper die-hard fans.”
United, in 12th, are nine points behind sixth-placed Bradford City having played a game less than Phil Parkinson’s side.
“It’s a key game but it’s maybe not win or bust. Let’s not shy away from how important it is though. There’s a huge expectation here,” Adkins, who won promotions at both St Mary’s and Glanford Park, said. “It helps when you have been course and distance. Because the mental side is so important, especially at this stage of the season.
“I want to be challenging for promotions and honours. To do that, you need to recognise that you always need to win the next game.
“This football club will eventually get back there. To do that, we must get out of this division first. But, as well as short-term goals, you must also have medium and long-term ones too.”