Nigel Adkins has rightly shrugged off suggestions that his job is under scrutiny, as the Southampton manager searches for a first win in the Premier League this season.
Adkins, who brought the Saints up from League One obscurity to Premier League competitors, answered questions at a press conference ahead of Southampton’s clash with Aston Villa this weekend and refuted media claims that he was under pressure from above.
“I think if you’re looking over your shoulder thinking ‘Well, if I don’t win this one’ your mind is going to be affected in different ways, so I don’t even think about that,” Adkins stated. “I don’t read the newspapers. I’ve got a great working relationship with the chairman here.”
Indeed, Adkins is certain to have a good relationship with chairman, Nicola Cortese, after propelling the Saints into the Premier League with successive promotions.
Southampton were a class above the rest last season and stormed to automatic promotion from the Championship; they scored more than any team in the league and came just one point off winning the division.
Although the Saints strengthened their squad this summer, Adkins has had a rough introduction to Premier League football, with early defeats to Man United, Man City and Arsenal.
A 6-1 loss to the latter proved just how merciless the English top flight can be but Saints fans are rightly calling for their boss to be given more time.
Far too often are managers culled too early in the season as chairmen desperately search for expensive quick fixes. Although pressure is on every Premier League boss to succeed, Adkins must be given the chance to make it in this division.
He brought Southampton up from nothing and he deserves this opportunity to prove himself as much as the club does on football’s biggest stage.
For fans thinking of placing a Premier League bet, this weekend, the Opta Stats offer a damning portrait of the Saints’ recent performances; Southampton have conceded the joint-most goals after four games of any team in Premier League history.