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Adkins boosted by fans' support
Nigel Adkins says the backing he got from fans in this week’s massive Daily Echo poll was “refreshing and rewarding”.
More than 5,000 Saints supporters flooded on to dailyecho.co.uk to have their say on Adkins’ future with a huge 78 per cent backing him to carry on as Saints manager.
Adkins has come under pressure after a tough start to life back in the Premier League but has picked himself, and his team, up again after the 4-1 defeat at West Ham left people questioning his position.
When asked whether he felt under any pressure regarding his future at the club, Adkins said: “No, not at all.
“There is a stability at this club which is vitally important.
“Everyone here understands there needs to be stability.
“I don’t think there is any need for me to (seek assurances from the board).
“I said at the start of the season that there would be stormy weather ahead. We just need to baton down the hatches, stick together, ride out the wave.
“When we have got through this period we will be able to experience the good times together.
“It’s very pleasing that 78 per cent have turned around and said that they want me to carry on. It’s very refreshing and rewarding.”
Adkins was positivity personified as he addressed the media ahead of the return of Gareth Bale and his Tottenham team to St Mary’s tomorrow.
His persona was in contrast to the downbeat figure he cut following last week’s 4-1 thrashing at the hands of West Ham.
Adkins insists his players have reacted well to the poor showing, and conceded that the team must defend better when they take on Spurs this weekend.
“This hasn’t been a difficult week at all,” he said.
“I let a bit of negativity creep in for the first time last week, but I had to quickly dispel that.
“Training has been good. The lads have responded in the appropriate manner.
“At this moment a couple of defeats have come about by some goals we could have stopped. We need to address that.”
Adkins surprisingly left Rickie Lambert on the bench for last weekend’s defeat, prompting fears the striker could leave St Mary’s.
Stoke have been linked with the 30-year-old, but Adkins says he will not listen to any offers for the player.
“I am not aware of an enquiry and we wouldn’t consider (selling him),” Adkins added.
“He is one of the main reasons why we have got back to the Barclays Premier League.
“We love the bones of him. He works very hard. It is my responsibility to pick the team, whether Ricky is in that team or coming off the bench to make an impact as he did against Manchester City.”
Should Lambert continue to be benched, Adkins admits offers could come in for the player, however.
He said: “Rickie Lambert is a good football player.
“I’m sure anyone who sees him not in the starting XI might wonder: ‘what’s happening there? We might show a bit of interest’. That’s football.”
Adkins should have Tadanari Lee available for selection again after his elbow injury while Luke Shaw is also on the fringes of getting a first Premier League start.