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
The sun rises over St Andrews golf course, but will it be a new dawn for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club?
sportAnd it's Yes to women (at the R&A)
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

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

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week