Nigel Adkins

Nigel Adkins
Adkins as Southampton manager in 2011
Personal information
Full name Nigel Howard Adkins[1]
Date of birth (1965-03-11) 11 March 1965[1]
Place of birth Birkenhead, England[1]
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Hull City (manager)
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1983–1986 Tranmere Rovers 86 (0)
1986–1993 Wigan Athletic 155 (0)
1993–1996 Bangor City 95 (0)
Total 336 (0)
Teams managed
1993–1996 Bangor City
2006–2010 Scunthorpe United
2010–2013 Southampton
2013–2014 Reading
2015–2016 Sheffield United
2017– Hull City
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Nigel Howard Adkins (born 11 March 1965) is an English former professional footballer, physiotherapist and manager who is the manager of Championship club Hull City.

Adkins played as a goalkeeper for Tranmere Rovers and Wigan Athletic. He finished his playing career and began his managerial career at Welsh club Bangor City before spells at Scunthorpe United and Southampton, where he led both clubs to promotion. His tenure with the latter was noted for taking the Saints from League One to the Premier League in successive seasons.

Prior to his appointment as Scunthorpe United manager, Adkins was the club physiotherapist.

Playing career

Adkins began his career at Liverpool, but was released without playing a first team game. In 1983, he joined Tranmere Rovers and made 86 league appearances in three years. In 1986, he transferred to Wigan Athletic, the club where he spent the majority of his career, playing 155 league games between 1986 and 1993. He suffered a double spinal fracture at age 23, which curtailed his career. Adkins joined Bangor City as player-manager in 1993, making 95 league appearances and guiding them to consecutive promotions before leaving the club in 1996. Adkins subsequently retired from playing at age 31, having made 336 league appearances in a 13-year career.[2]

Following his retirement from playing, Adkins graduated from the University of Salford with a degree in physiotherapy and joined the physiotherapy department at Scunthorpe United.[3]

Managerial career

Bangor City

Adkins began his managerial career in 1993 as the player-manager of Bangor City in the League of Wales where he won the championship in the 1993–94 and 1994–95 seasons, before departing in February 1996.

Scunthorpe United

Adkins was appointed caretaker manager by Scunthorpe United chairman Steve Wharton in November 2006, following the departure of the previous manager, Brian Laws.[4] After his spell as caretaker, he was appointed as permanent manager on 7 December 2006.[5] As Adkins had been promoted to the manager's seat from the role of club physiotherapist,[6] Scunthorpe supporters chanted, "Who needs Mourinho, we've got our physio!" on the terraces of Glanford Park in his honour.[7]

Adkins guided Scunthorpe to promotion from League One to the Championship with three matches to spare on 14 April 2007, and they went on to seal the divisional title to end an absence of more than 40 years from the league's second tier.[8]

Scunthorpe were relegated from the Championship the following season, but returned via the League One play-offs in May 2009, playing at Wembley Stadium in consecutive months, having played Luton Town in the final of the Football League Trophy on 5 April. They struggled once again in the higher division, but this time avoided relegation by finishing 20th and being five points clear of Sheffield Wednesday – the last relegated club.


Adkins joined Southampton on 12 September 2010, after the Saints and Scunthorpe United agreed a compensation package. Adkins signed a three-year contract and was joined there by his former assistant at Scunthorpe, Andy Crosby.[9] He gained his first victory in charge in his third game winning 1–0 at Sheffield Wednesday, with Lee Barnard scoring the only goal. The good start to his tenure continued and he guided Southampton into the play-off part of the table for the first time in League One on 2 November 2010 after a 4–0 win over Dagenham & Redbridge. After this result, the club joined the League One promotion rush, which was expected of them at the start of the campaign, and before the slow start. In the club's 125th anniversary match, Adkins saw his side beat Peterborough United 4–1. This was the sixth home win in a row, the best home form for the football club since 1992.

Adkins guided his team into the top two for the first time since being relegated, after a 4–0 win over Exeter City on New Year's Day 2011 and managed a victory against Premier League opposition in Blackpool just one week later, taking his side into the fourth round of the FA Cup. Three days later he led his side to a 6–0 win away to Oldham Athletic and in the process recorded their fifth-straight victory. During Adkins' first transfer window at the club, he secured the contract of winger Adam Lallana for a new four-and-a-half-year contract. He signed winger Dany N'Guessan on loan from Leicester City, and signed Jonathan Forte on a three-and-a-half-year contract from Adkins' former club Scunthorpe United. Under the guidance of Adkins, the Saints achieved a club record of clean sheets in one season, beating the previous record of 19 set by Peter Shilton in the early 1980s. Adkins guided his side to promotion into the Championship after a 3–1 home win against Walsall on 7 May 2011, earning his third League One promotion in his managerial career. He won the League One Manager of the Month for April 2011 after winning seven of the eight games that month and putting Southampton on the brink of promotion.

He then broke a 12-year hoodoo of not winning on the opening day of the league season by beating Leeds United at St Mary's Stadium 3–1 and send them straight into second in the Championship. In the process, he also broke a record by leading Southampton to seven consecutive league wins for the first time in their history. Two subsequent away wins – against Barnsley (1–0) and Ipswich Town (5–2) – kept Southampton top of the Championship. The club record of consecutive league victories extended to ten after a 1–0 win at home to Millwall. They suffered a minor blip in their next game, a 3–2 defeat at Leicester, but bounced back winning 3–1 in the second round of the League Cup at Swindon Town. Adkins then guided the Saints to two successive home wins in a week; 3–2 over Nottingham Forest and 4–1 against Birmingham City. The Saints continued their remarkable start to the season and only lost 2 of their first 17 games. Despite a wobbly period around Christmas time, Adkins guided Southampton to a 12-game unbeaten run which kept them in the top two. Saints finally secured promotion to the Premier League on the final day of the season, beating Coventry City 4–0 at St Mary's in front of a club-record crowd. Adkins was the first Southampton manager to gain back-to-back promotions and kept Southampton in the top two all season.

Adkins took charge of his first Premier League match as Southampton manager on 18 August 2012, losing 3–2 away to reigning champions Manchester City despite being 2–1 up with 18 minutes of the game remaining.[10] His first top flight win came on 22 September 2012, beating Aston Villa 4–1 at St Mary's.[11]

In October 2012, Adkins disclosed that he recites the Dale Wimbrow poem, The Guy in The Glass to control stress.[12]

After much speculation over his future, on 18 January 2013 it was confirmed that Adkins had been sacked as Southampton manager and replaced by former Espanyol manager Mauricio Pochettino.[13][14] As Adkins and Southampton were unable to agree the terms of his compensation package, Adkins commenced legal action for breach of contract in March 2013.[15]


On 26 March 2013, Adkins was appointed manager at fellow Premier League club Reading in succession to Brian McDermott, who had been dismissed a fortnight earlier.[16] His first game in charge ended in a 4–1 defeat away to Arsenal on 30 March 2013. Adkins could not stop Reading from being relegated, and they started the 2013–14 season in the Championship. On 15 December 2014, Adkins was sacked following his side's 6–1 defeat to Birmingham which left them ten points behind a play-off place in the Championship.[17]

Sheffield United

On 2 June 2015, Adkins was appointed as the manager at League One club Sheffield United.[18]

Sheffield United ended the season in 11th place, their lowest league position since 1983, eight points from the play-offs. Because of this, Adkins was sacked on 12 May 2016.[19]

Hull City

On 7 December 2017, he was appointed manager of Championship club Hull City on an 18-month contract, following the dismissal of Leonid Slutsky.[20]

Personal life

Adkins and his wife, Angie have two children.[6]

Managerial statistics

As of match played 1 September 2018
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record Ref.
Scunthorpe United 6 November 2006 12 September 2010 199 83 44 72 041.7 [21]
Southampton 12 September 2010 18 January 2013 124 67 25 32 054.0 [21]
Reading 26 March 2013 15 December 2014 80 29 20 31 036.3 [17][21]
Sheffield United 2 June 2015 12 May 2016 54 22 14 18 040.7 [21]
Hull City 7 December 2017 Present 37 10 11 16 027.0 [21]
Total 494 211 114 169 042.7


As a player-manager

Bangor City

As a manager

Scunthorpe United




  1. 1 2 3 "Nigel Adkins". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  2. Nigel Adkins plays mind games as Scunthorpe steel themselves for second crack at City this season – Times Online
  3. "Having a Ball", Times Higher Education, 24 November 1995
  4. "Laws takes over as Sheff Wed boss". BBC Sport. 6 November 2006. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  5. Scunthorpe appoint Adkins as boss – BBC Sport
  6. 1 2 Nigel Adkins works wonders as Scunny make the most of little money – The Sport Blog; The Guardian newspaper
  7. Nigel Adkins – Adkins diet just the tonic for united Scunny – SoccerLens
  8. Adkins hails Sharp as Iron go up – BBC Sport
  9. "New First Team Manager Appointed". Southampton F.C. 12 September 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
  10. "Man City 3–2 Southampton". BBC Sport. 18 August 2012.
  11. "Southampton 4–1 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. 22 September 2012.
  12. "Southampton manager Nigel Adkins reciting 'The Man in the Glass'". BBC Sport. 26 October 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  13. "New First Team Manager Appointed". Southampton F.C. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  14. "Adkins sacked as Southampton boss". BBC Sport. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  15. Percy, John (13 March 2013). "Nigel Adkins takes Southampton to tribunal in bid to resolve feud with Nicola Cortese". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  16. "Nigel Adkins confirmed as Reading manager on three-year deal". The Guardian. London. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  17. 1 2 "Nigel Adkins: Reading sack manager after 6–1 defeat". BBC Sport. 15 December 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  18. "Adkins appointed". Sheffield United F.C. 2 June 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  19. "Chris Wilder: Sheffield United 'set to appoint' Northampton boss to replace Nigel Adkins". BBC Sport. BBC. 12 May 2016. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  20. "Nigel Adkins: Hull City appoint former Southampton and Reading boss". BBC Sport. 7 December 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  21. 1 2 3 4 5 "Managers: Nigel Adkins". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  22. "Manager of the Season". Welsh Premier League. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  23. "Hall of Fame: Nigel Adkins". S4C. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
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