Nigel Adkins insists Saints go to Chelsea without any mental scars from their 5-1 FA Cup hammering just ten days ago.

The Saints boss has seen his side bounce back from their heavy defeat at the hands of the Blues in the best possible way – by defeating relegation rivals Aston Villa 1-0 to pull themselves clear of the Premier League drop zone.

That result has really taken the pressure off of Saints ahead of tomorrow night’s trip to Stamford Bridge.

The match is a game in hand that was due to be played in December but was postponed due to Chelsea’s involvement in the Club World Cup.

“The FA Cup game has gone,” said a bullish Adkins.

“I thought we did very well in the first half against Chelsea and you can’t deny that but the two goals before half time demoralised us a little bit.

“In the second half Chelsea had to up their game and they certainly did.

“The amount of forward quality talent on show there gave them the opportunity to score some goals.

“But we have put that to bed and I think that was shown (at Aston Villa) by the character the players have gone and demonstrated.”

Full story in today's Daily Echo