By Rebecca Hawksworth

With over a decade of managerial experience, Hull City manager Nigel Adkins spoke to UCFB students at a recent Executive Guest Speaker session to give them expert advice on how to deal with the pressures of being a football manager.

Adkins’ top tip was, that with football being such an intense and demanding industry to work in, some sort of release away from the game is vital.

“You’ve got to have a way to release,” he said. “I’ve been very fortunate and I have a fantastic family, so you’ve got to have something away from football to take your mind away from it – a sanctuary if you like.”

The pressures and media scrutiny that modern-day managers are subjected to is ever increasing, especially for those within the Premier League. Having himself managed in the top division while at Southampton, Adkins spoke of the intense scrutiny that managers’ face at the top-end of football and the importance of not letting it affect you.

Adkins said: “We live in a world now, especially with social media, where the profile of a manager is so high. Everybody’s got an opinion that can be voiced and it can be quite brutal and vicious. You’ve got to have broad shoulders.”

Of course, a poor run of results is the most common reason for a football manager to be subjected to increased scrutiny and criticism. However, the former Sheffield United and Reading boss explained that it’s normal to lose games and face difficulties within the sport.


Nigel Adkins speaking to students at UCFB Wembley.

He rounded off his talk to students by explaining the importance of staying mentally strong when put in the limelight. Adkins added: “You are going to have to deal with continual criticism. You are going to have to deal with the media image and supporters wanting to have their opinion. You’re going to lose games and things are going to go against you. You need to be able to deal with defeat and deal with failure but then learn the lessons from that and move on quickly.”

The 53-year-old finished: “You are going to have successes and you are going to have failures, it’s about how you pick yourself back up and have that resilience to keep going – that is so important. You’ve got to make your decisions and back your judgements – rightly or wrongly.”