Saints sticking with Adkins

Nigel Adkins
Despite his popularity among Southampton fans Adkins' job looks under threat. Photo: PA

Under-fire Southampton manager Nigel Adkins will remain at the helm for Saturday's Premier League clash with Swansea, Press Association Sport understands.

The 47-year-old's position at the helm has come under increasing scrutiny after the side's poor start to life back in the top flight after a seven-year absence.

Despite being revered by most home supporters after leading the club to back-to-back promotions, reports have intensified this week suggesting executive chairman Nicola Cortese is set to relieve Adkins of his duties.

The Saints boss is said have held talks with the Italian yesterday and Press Association Sport understands he will remain in charge for this weekend's game with Swansea.

Adkins will be speaking to the media tomorrow at an unusually early 8am pre-match press conference, which is expected to attract heightened interest given Southampton's current predicament.

The south coast side have lost eight of their 10 games back in the Premier League and have secured just one victory, a 4-1 home win against Aston Villa.

Adkins will need a similar result against Michael Laudrup's side after a string of bad results, including Monday's 2-0 defeat at West Brom.

The odds on him being the first manager to lose his job were rapidly cut following the Hawthorns defeat and he admitted after the game the pressure is on.

"I don't think anybody needs to give anyone a vote of confidence because if you do, then we all turn around and say, 'he's got the dreaded vote of confidence'," Adkins said.

"We need to win and I believe we can do it. I'm very proud and privileged to be the Southampton manager. I'll stand out and lead from the front as I've always done.

"I'm very positive. I know I'm a better manager today than when I joined Southampton. I know I've improved a lot.

"But someone is always going to be the favourite [to be sacked], and if you're bottom of the league, well, you should be the favourite probably.

"I'm not going to hide away from that. But what a great challenge we face."

Adkins joined from Scunthorpe in September 2010 when Saints were languishing 22nd in npower League One following Alan Pardew's departure.

He led them to the runners-up spot and automatic promotion from the third tier during his first season and achieved the same feat the following campaign in the Championship.

Adkins, though, has not enjoyed the same success in the Premier League, leading the likes of Paolo Di Canio, Gianluca Vialli and Rafael Benitez to be touted as potential replacements.

Former Southampton managers Harry Redknapp and Gordon Strachan have also been linked with a return to St Mary's.

Rather surprisingly, Adkins was heavily backed by some to become the next Blackpool manager yesterday.