Adkins adopted a 4-3-3 formation in the 3-2 defeat to Carlisle at the weekend and warned his players that they need to be more versatile all over the pitch if they are to compete at a higher level.
"We can't just be able to play one style of football. Just because you've won the previous games doesn't mean you stay with the same formation," he told the club's official website.
"(Carlisle) is a very wide football pitch. We put ourselves in a formation with five forward-thinking players to bomb on.
"Richard Chaplow and Morgan Schneiderlin we were really looking to go on beyond (Rickie) Lambert. Then we've got (Adam) Lallana and (Alex) Chamberlain. That's an offensive five to try and make sure we get the ball and get forward and get the two full-backs pushing on as well.
"If you look at that formation you'll probably find that all the top teams, i.e. Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal, play the same formation as that."