Is the time right for Nigel Adkins to return to Tranmere Rovers as manager?

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 02 November 2020, 11:32

Nigel Adkins has been installed as the new favourite to replace Mike Jackson at Tranmere Rovers following the latter’s exit on Saturday.

Adkins, who is priced at 1/1 in the next Tranmere Rovers manager market, has been out-of-work since leaving his post at Hull City at the end of the 2018/19 season.

Adkins spent 18 months at the club during which he steered them to 18th then 13th in the Championship, in difficult circumstances. 

The spell helped Adkins restore his managerial reputation after a couple of underwhelming stints at Reading and Sheffield United.

He decided to leave Hull because their vision didn’t align with his own. After he departed, Hull struggled and were relegated the following season.

Adkins famously transformed from a physio to a manager at Scunthorpe, with whom he led to two promotions from League One in 2007 and 2009.

He then returned to the third-tier to rejuvenate a stuttering Southampton, and proceeded to cannonball the south coast club to consecutive promotions up to the Premier League.

Since leaving Hull in June 2019, Adkins’ name has been a frequent fixture in Football League manager markets, including Birmingham, Southend, Scunthorpe, and even Tranmere back in the summer following the exit of Micky Mellon.

Tranmere suffered relegation last season, and have since endured a poor start to the current campaign, with the club 18th in League Two after 10 games. 

But, if anyone can lift the mood it's Adkins.

The boss is famed for his positive approach to both life and football. Just take a glance over on his Twitter page - @TheNigelAdkins - and you’ll get a feel-good flavour of his endless enthusiasm, zeal and affable nature.

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Nigel Adkins played for Tranmere in the 1980s

Tranmere fans have even taken over the comment section on his most recent tweet...

‘Come on nigel, tell us u are in the wirral, all u need to do is bring your breakfast to prenton park and sign a contract’ - @Chay25872516

‘Bring the breakfast bowl to Prenton Park Nigel’ - @CopaMundialJF

His #breakfastwithnige tweets were also a huge hit during lockdown.

Adkins was born in Birkenhead (Merseyside) where Prenton Park just so happens to be located. He also reportedly lives in the Wirral vicinity, and if true then that’s an easy commute sorted.

Not only that, but Adkins officially began his playing career at Tranmere; between 1983 and 1986 he made 83 league appearances in between the sticks.

During his time at the Super White Army the then-teenager got his first taste of management at the helm of Renbad Rovers in the Birkenhead Sunday League’s fifth division - he won five promotions.

“I would’ve liked to have been back in by now but the (COVID-19) situation has arisen,” Adkins told Sky Sports in May.

“There have been phone calls, I’ve had opportunities to go abroad.

“I love it, I enjoy it, I’m passionate about it. But in the meantime I’m utilising my time best to learn, to study and to prepare myself.”

Given both his experience and success, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that Adkins fancies a return to the Championship, or League One.

But his association and connection with Tranmere means we could soon be seeing Adkins return to Prenton Park as manager, 34 years after leaving as a player. The timing feels right.

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