Football League Daily – Sheffield United’s relegation sparks the end of Micky Adams

Whilst those sides who have gained automatic promotion start their holidays, and those in the play-offs gear up for the make or break week of semi-finals to come, those sides that have had less successful seasons are either taking stock, or making changes in preparation for the new season to come.

Sheffield United are one of those who have been swift to act at the end of a turbulent season. A campaign that started full of hope of a return to the Premier League under Kevin Blackwell saw the former Leeds and Luton boss sacked after a disappointing start to be replaced by Gary Speed. .

Speed himself didn’t manage to turn things around, and when he received the call from the Welsh FA to take over the national team, he left the Blades in relegation trouble and looking for a third manager of the season.

Lifelong Sheffield United fan Micky Adams answered the call, leaving a League Two promotion push with Port Vale to try and save his boyhood heroes from a drop into the third tier, just four years after they were playing in the top flight.

Adams though was unable to change things around at Bramall Lane, not earning a win until his 13th game in charge, eventually collecting three points against Nottingham Forest. By that time United were deep in the mire, and despite then beating fierce local rivals Leeds, lost their next four matches including a pivotal loss to fellow relegation strugglers Preston North End.

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The Blades fate was sealed by a late Barnsley equaliser in a 2-2 draw on the penultimate weekend, confirming the clubs relegation to League One, and a spell in the third tier for the first time in 22 years.

A last day capitulation, 4-0 at Swansea City prompted Kevin McCabe, the Sheffield United chairman to act, and he wielded the axe on Tuesday. In a statement on the clubs website, McCabe said: “He [Adams] made it clear that he wanted the chance to lead us next season but the fact remains that we have been relegated. I feel that in order to give ourselves the best opportunity we should make a clean sweep at the top and start afresh next season.”

Adams himself released a statement through the same channels in which he said: “Obviously I am very, very disappointed with the decision but I still wish Sheffield United all the best. I am a Blade and will always be a Blade so I am just sorry that my move here has not worked out.”

Adams himself may not be out of work for long, with reports already circulating that Port Vale are set to offer him the chance to finish the job he left in December. His replacement, Jim Gannon, was not a success with the club slipping out of the play-offs during his tenure. Gannon only succeeded in getting himself the sack in March after a bust-up with his assistant Geoff Horsfield which remarkably saw them both leave the team bus en route to a match at Aldershot. Horsfield, who has remained at the club told BBC Radio Stoke that Adams would: “grasp it with both hands” if the offer was made but added: “There are other jobs available. He’ll want time to get his head together.”

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