Sabtu, 24 November 2012

Adkins owes Pardew nothing

Nigel Adkins: Looking forward, not back

Pardew was manager at St Mary's for just over a year and led the club to the Johnstone's Paint Trophy title, as well as agonisingly close to the League One play-offs despite a 10-point deduction.

On Sunday the 51-year-old returns to Southampton for the first time since leaving the club in August 2010, with the hosts now a Premier League side once again thanks to back-to-back promotions under Adkins.

The Saints boss still uses several of the players brought in by the now Newcastle manager, but insists he does not having anything to thank him for.

"I don't think I owe him any debt [of gratitude] at all," Adkins said. "Whatever situation arose, he moved on. I am the manager of Southampton Football Club.

"We've just had back-to-back promotions, we're doing ever so well in our forward progression.

"We're trying to make sure the youngsters come through the system here at Southampton.

"To have James Ward-Prowse, Ben Reeves and now L uke Shaw into the first-team is very rewarding."

Southampton fans are expected to give Pardew a warm reception upon his return but Adkins will not be treating him differently to any other visiting manager.

"We always welcome the opposition manager, whoever it is, to St Mary's," he said. "When the whistle blows, then it is go to win a game of football.

"Afterwards we always invite them in for a drink. We've done that consistently. It doesn't matter who the manager is, that is what we've always done and what we will continue to do."

Southampton head into Sunday's match 19th in the Premier League but with a chance of jumping out of the relegation zone.

Saints will be looking to build on their victory last weekend at Loftus Road, where they condemned QPR, the only side below them, to an embarrassing 3-1 defeat.

The result proved the final straw for the west Londoners' hierarchy, who today sacked manager Mark Hughes and seem set to replac e him with Harry Redknapp.

"We've lost a couple of managers in the Barclays Premier League this week and I don't think it matters if you're at the top of the bottom," Adkins said of the decision.

"Every position is going to be under scrutiny. That's a shame but the reality of being in this league."

Some had suggested in the build-up to last week's game that Adkins himself could have lost his job had the game gone the other way - suggestions the Saints boss today laughed off.

"I've had nothing but support from the chairman, Nicola Cortese," he said.

"We don't need to document anything about it. We've been very successful over the last couple of years.

"We are very demanding of each other but very supportive and I think that's the important thing.

"We have a stability here at Southampton. I think you have to demanding as that means you can keep raising the bar on standards throughout the football club.

"But you've got to be supportive as well and I think that's what we've got here."

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