Wembley failure gives Adkins iron will to succeed

Nigel Adkins is confident that the pain of having lost at Wembley already this season will spur on his Scunthorpe side when they walk out on to the pitch today. The Iron take on Millwall in the League One play-off final only seven weeks after meeting Luton Town in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final. They lost 3-2 but have been galvanised sufficiently by Adkins to put themselves in with a chance of an instant return to the Championship.

"It is going to be very beneficial," he said. "It's not nice to lose at Wembley, believe me, but we tried to gather that feeling straight away. So when we go back again, we don't want to experience that feeling and hopefully it can just drive us on that little bit more, and when those legs are tired and weak, we can just hopefully dig deep into the memory bank and say, 'No, I'm not going to have failure.'

"We've sampled Wembley, it's a horrible place to lose, we're going there with the mindset to win the game. It's not about the occasion, it's about winning a game of football now."

Scunthorpe earned their place in the final with a penalty shoot-out win over the MK Dons last weekend and come up against a Millwall side who battled their way past Leeds over the course of two bruising encounters. And Adkins, who has seen his team beat Millwall twice in the League this season, knows how tough a prospect is in store.

"We're the underdogs, clearly," said the 44-year-old, who was the club's physio when they last went up through the play-offs, in 1999. "We've beaten Millwall twice this year and it shows how well this group of players have performed, consistently, over the year. There's an inner belief about the group but, believe me, we know we are in for one hard game of football."

Kenny Jackett, the manager of Millwall, has also experienced Wembley heartbreak, albeit a quarter of a century ago, having been on the losing side with Watford against Everton in the 1984 FA Cup final.

"Finals are horrible to lose in," he said. "It's terrific to be involved, it will be a great day but we want to cap it all by winning. Scunthorpe made a good fist of the Championship last year and have had a very successful season so far this year.

"They have some very good players, they've beaten us twice so we know what we are up against. It's a big challenge but there is no reason why we can't overcome it."

Scunthorpe have sold just short of 10,000 tickets for the final and their support will be dwarfed by Millwall, who are expected to take as many as 50,000 fans from south-east to north-west London. Millwall midfielder Adam Bolder feels that importing the Den atmosphere into the national stadium will give the players a huge boost.

"With us having the majority of the fans behind us it will be like a home game to us," Bolder said. "That's what we've got to try to turn it into – at home we are a very positive team.

"We showed in the semi-final against Leeds how positive we could be and over the two legs we fully deserved to go through. This club is going in the right direction; a Wembley final is the first step and let's get into the Championship – and that's where the club will move forward. You don't want to come to a place like Wembley and look back in five years and say 'if only'. It's about getting the win and making sure we are the ones playing in the Championship next year."

Jackett will have Zak Whitbread available, the defender having recovered from the head he injury suffered against Leeds. Neil Harris has overcome a dead leg and is also likely to start, while Lewis Grabban will come in for James Henry, whose loan period from Reading has finished. Gary Hooper, Scunthorpe's leading scorer, is fit again after a groin problem while Andrew Wright (facial wound) and Joseph Mills (ankle) could also feature. But Marcus Williams is definitely out with an achilles injury.

Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker