Paul Hayes says that Nigel Adkins was the best manager he played under in his career.
Hayes won promotion under Adkins with Scunthorpe United in 2009, going up via the League One play-offs in 2009.
Iron finished sixth in League One that year before defeating MK Dons in the play-off semi-final over two legs, before beating Millwall in the Wembley final.
That season, Hayes scored 17 goals in 44 appearances for Scunthorpe, with striker partner Gary Hooper scoring 24 goals in 45 games.
Adkins is now at Charlton Athletic – another one of Hayes’ former clubs. The striker also won promotion to the Championship with the Addicks in 2011/12.
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Speaking to the South London Press about Adkins, Hayes says he is the best manager he has ever played under.
He said: “He is the best manager I played under, bar none.
“Gareth Ainsworth would be up there as well, although they are different personalities. Nigel’s man-management was unbelievable – just how interested he is to speak to people, how positive and happy he is.
“We’re talking about 10 years ago, but the things he was saying and doing were so advanced back then.
“He understood a team’s strength and weaknesses plus how to get the best out of players. He got Scunthorpe straight back up after we got relegated from the Championship and then we stayed up with one of the smallest budgets. Most of us went on to bigger and better things because of the manager.
“I don’t think there is anyone out there who can say a bad word about Nige. That, in itself, speaks volumes – he treats everyone with respect.”
Adkins will be looking to guide the club to promotion this season, with the Addicks sitting seventh in League One.
Adkins is an experienced manager who has had plenty of success in his career, albeit over a decade ago.
I do worry that the EFL and League One has become a lot more competitive since then, but Charlton have a good squad of players who can challenge until the death.
It will be tough for them to go up this season, though, especially with the team above them, Doncaster, having plenty of games in hand.
But if you can put a run together, then anything is possible at this level and promotion cannot be ruled out whatsoever.