Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins has warned Rob Jones will be a formidable adversary during today’s South Yorkshire derby against Doncaster Rovers at Bramall Lane.
Jones, who was placed in temporary charge of the visitors when Paul Dickov was sacked earlier this month, was Adkins’ record signing during his spell at Scunthorpe six years ago.
And, despite the 35-year-old’s relative lack of experience, Adkins insisted United are not about to make the mistake of taking the threat Rovers pose lightly.
“Rob has been behind the scenes and done a lot of work at Doncaster Rovers for a couple of years now,” he said. “From my point of view, we need to win a game of football, but defeat can sometimes show you how deal with situations as a manager.
“Rob is in that position now, and I am sure he is going to flourish and do okay. When I had him at Scunthorpe, he was always a very deep thinker. He works hard and he is in that transition now. But from what I can see he is doing a good job at Doncaster.”
United are seventh in the table, 15 places six points above Rovers, after drawing with Bradford City last weekend.
“Every game is competitive in this division,” Adkins said. “Myself and (assistant manager) Andy Crosby went to watch Doncaster last Saturday.
“Rob Jones used to play for me, Andy Butler used to play at United, Oscar Gobern, Richard Chaplow, Danny N’Guessan are players that I have had previously.
“We have watched them and know they have threats. We know Andy will be at set-plays. We will do our homework, try to nullify them, but there are things we will look to expose ourselves.”