Date: 10th February 2016 at 2:38pm
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Manager Nigel Adkins has been speaking about a few topics of late, referees and discipline as well as Sheffield United’s hopes for promotion this year.

Two separate interviews are carried by The Star and in the first, Adkins talks of hoping that the players avoid further punishment as he knows that a lack of discipline in the game against Doncaster Rovers this weekend could cost us the chance of getting back to a positive performance and result.

‘We need to clarify things for ourselves. We want good disciplinary records. I want us to be a tough team. There have been occasions when we`ve seen players getting booked when we think it`s a great tackle and so it`s important you know why a card has been shown. Through that knowledge, we can help our players. We can educate them about what they can and can`t do.’

Adkins was quick to add that he would never question the integrity of a referee however, but he certainly feels that United get a tougher judgement than some others – especially in more recent games.

‘I will never, ever, question the integrity of the referee. I`ve done talks for referees` societies in the past. It`s about trying to build an understanding. It`s so hard being an official and there are several grey areas including things like who is the last man. It`s good to give feedback to referees and also to ask the questions.’

In the second interview, the manager’s focus was more on United not pressing the panic button given recent results, as an overreaction to a clear dip in form for him would cost us all chances this year – whereas a more measured response to things he believes can only make us stronger.

‘We`ve got players who have experience. So many times, things have gone against us but they`ve always picked themselves up and gone again. That attitude can take us a long way. I`m convinced of that. Where we are doesn`t faze us because we`ve been in these situations before. Yes, we`d rather be higher but we know all about course and distance. You`ve got to keep a steady and a calm head.’

With the trip to the Keepmoat Stadium up next, Adkins does know that adds further pressure following defeat by Wigan Athletic last weekend.

And he did himself admit that the defeat has cost us an automatic spot, so it’s about refocusing and finding our form for the Play Offs now.

‘People will be saying all sorts of things but you`ve got to believe it`s going to happen. I understand the frustrations of the supporters because this is a big football club. But I will shoulder the responsibility of keeping everyone positive and united together. Because, if we are, then we give ourselves an opportunity.’

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