Saints manager Nigel Adkins turned to his players earlier this season to ask “what are we doing wrong?” in a bid to rescue the club’s ailing campaign.

Midfielder Jack Cork revealed that Adkins had sought out the squad’s input following a disastrous start to the term, in which the team lost eight of their opening ten Premier League matches.

Far from the autocratic rule imposed by some managers, Cork’s words offer a telling insight into the more egalitarian approach of the Saints boss, who is prepared to give his players a greater say in matters than they would perhaps enjoy elsewhere.

Adkins’ willingness to consult with his squad appears to have paid dividends, with the club having suffered just one defeat in their last six to pull themselves out of the relegation zone and undoubtedly preserve the 47-year-old’s job.

While the upturn in fortunes has also coincided with the return of Cork from injury, the player said the root of the improvement lies in a series of frank discussions that took place among the players and the manager at the training ground.

Cork said: “When you’re going through a bad patch, the thing you do is look at everything you are doing wrong and try and put it right.

“The manager came in and said ‘what do you lot think we’re doing wrong?’ “Everybody put their own input in, we changed things we needed to change and it worked for us.”

Full story in today's Daily Echo.

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