SAINTS legend Matt Le Tissier believes Nigel Adkins has to be given time to grow into the role of a Premier League manager.

Yesterday the Saints secured an important three points in a bottom-of-the-table clash against QPR but remain in 19th place after just two wins in 12 matches.

Despite taking the club into the top flight on the back of successive promotions, Adkins has found himself under pressure in the last couple of months.

However, Le Tissier believes the manager has to be given the opportunity to prove he can be a success at the highest level.

"I think the fact he has given us back-to-back promotions has earned him the right to have a long crack at Premier League," he admitted.

"It is his first chance in the division and he has to be given the chance to grow and learn in the division.

"Hopefully it will be a massive turning point with two home games coming up (against Newcastle and Norwich).

"We have a real chance in those two games of getting out of the bottom three."

Former Southampton manager Lawrie McMenemy was in full agreement, pointing out the players also need time to adjust to a new environment.

"The thing is not only Nigel is new to the Premier League but the whole team is," he said.

"Any promoted team needs time, particularly ones who haven't been there before.

"Scoring goals has not been the problem, it is letting them in so the manager would want to sort the defence out but I think four of the five defenders yesterday were new."