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View From The Town End - Southampton

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So it's time for the first home game of the Adkins era and fittingly it's Adkins former side Southampton who are tomorrow's visitors to the Madejski Stadium. Ahead of the game we spoke to Chris Rann from Saints blog George Weah's Cousin to get his thoughts.

Christopher Lee

How have you viewed Southampton's season so far?

Everything I expected and perhaps a little more. I don't think anyone would have had us as anything but certainly relegated after our hideous start, but after a while, our young players whose technical ability we never doubted seemed to find their feet and now I think our points tally is a little false in comparison to our performances. We have played some exceptionally good football, and people out side the club are starting to notice us. Arguably we should have had six points from Manchester United, and ended up with none, and that is down to experience (of which we have very little at this level in the side). We aren't safe by any means, but people are mentioning us less and less when talking about relegation candidates. This was always going to be a transitional season, secure safety and keep these players together, a little investment and who knows....


Like Reading, you decided to sack your promotion winning manager. Are you happy with Pochettino or do you wish our new manager was still in your dugout?

Ha, that is a loaded question, and the only way I can answer it is that I was happy with Adkins, but I am now also happy with MoPo. It has taken a little time, but Pochettino is getting a little more from these players than Adkins did. We have outplayed Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea since he took over, and that is not an exaggeration. The football is relentless, high tempo, and at times breathtakingly good. Was it the right decision in the long run? Only time will tell, but the signs are very positive.


You've already given us a detailed look at Adkins but in brief sum up what we can expect from him.

An abundance of enthusiasm, a constant smile and a refreshingly optimistic outlook on everything, but don't mistake if for naivety or weakness. Adkins will get you playing nice football and knows how to win games. He was adapting to the Premier League with us, learning as much as everybody else, and he was starting to get results. He is progressive and focus on the psychological aspects of the game. He is a student of the game, and embraces the more modern approach. I saw a lot of your fans talk about him being a sideways step from McDermott, I don't agree with that, I think Adkins is a more 'current' coach.


Reading lost 1-0 at St Mary's back in December, what did you make of Reading that day and of our form since?

Honestly, I thought you looked very poor, and I was disappointed to only score one. It speaks volumes that we got a clean sheet, something that we very rarely do. Your form has been strange. You seemed to have a renaissance where you started winning games very late on, but I had a feeling it wouldn't last and sadly you look doomed after the seven consecutive defeats. You have built a reputation for strong finished but that looks to have deserted you this season.


Anyone in particular Reading fans should be worried about?

Our front four. Their movement and pressure has had defences from the top clubs at sixes and sevens, falling over themselves trying to keep them out. At the risk of being over confident, with their form and your defensive record of late, they should give you a torrid time.

Likewise anyone you're worried about from Reading's team?

Well, it was around this time last year that Mr. Le Fondre ruined our day so he is the obvious dangerman, Alex Pearce and Danny Guthrie both used to play for us, which means they are likely to score.

Score prediction?

I genuinely think that if our players play the game and not the occasion they will have way too much for you. The Adkins factor could swing it your way, but I will go for a 2-1 result in our favour.


And finally, where do you think both sides will end up this season?

I think we will effectively be safe should we win this game, and then we will be looking to finish as high as possible, as for you guys, I really hope Nigel can keep you up. Once we are safe I will be rooting for you, but I just can't see it I'm afraid. Nigel will make it a battle and it will go right to the wire I'm sure.

Thanks again to Chris and you can follow him on Twitter @crstig