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Nigel Adkins: 'I respect Johnstone's Paint Trophy'

Sheffield United boss Nigel Adkins says that the Johnstone's Paint Trophy is an important competition for him.

Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins has insisted that the Johnstone's Paint Trophy remains an important competition for him.

The Blades made nine changes to their side for their first-round tie at Hartlepool United on Tuesday evening, which they eventually won on penalties.

Adkins has said that his team selection did not show a lack of respect for the competition.

"The rules are very complex," he told the Sheffield Telegraph. "I was speaking to the Football League before the game and with Jose [Baxter] suspended, a few injuries and a host of lads away on international duty, our options were really limited.

"It's unfortunate but, from my point of view, it's all about winning a game of football. We have to do what is right for Sheffield United but we're incredibly respectful of the tournament; the last time I was in it, I took Scunthorpe to the final.

"So I know very well the benefits a good run in this competition can bring."

Adkins guided Scunthorpe United to the final in 2009, where they lost to Luton Town.

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Walsall manager Dean Smith looks on prior to the npower League One match between Milton Keynes Dons and Walsall at Stadium mk on December 26, 2012
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