HEARD the one about the manager who got the boot after his team came from 0-2 down to grab a point at the reigning European champions?

It's not too dissimilar to the one about the manager who got the push just a few hours after a 4-0 away win.

These are not jokes.

They are the fates to have befallen the last two Saints managers, Alan Pardew and now Nigel Adkins, victims of chairman Nicola Cortese's ruthless ambition for the club.

Make no mistake, this is one hell of a gamble Cortese has taken, bringing in a foreign coach who has never worked in England before.

Sacking Pardew was a slight gamble, but Adkins - the man brought in to replace him - had previous with regards to League 1.

Adkins had twice won promotion from the third tier with Scunthorpe.

Cortese was playing safe by appointing him.

Not so now.

This is different.

Totally different.

There was an outcry when Pardew was sacked, but it soon died down when Saints started winning under Adkins.

There is another outcry now, and Cortese needs his new manager to start winning as quickly as Adkins did.

That is easier said than done when the opposition is Everton and Manchester United rather than the likes of Dagenham and Redbridge and Hartlepool.

Saints are seventh in the Premier League table if only results of clubs' last 11 games are taken into consideration.

Given their start, Adkins has overseen a wonderful improvement.

It would have been no shock had Adkins been sacked back in early November after the loss at West Bromwich Albion.

Why he wasn't, only to be dismissed now, is one for Cortese to answer.

Saints fans deserve a good explanation from their chairman.

They deserved one regarding Pardew, but they never got one.

Saints supporters have continually been kept in the dark regarding major decisions taken by the men controlling their club in the past decade.

They have deserved answers to many questions, but never received them.

Chances are, Cortese won't fully explain his reasons - and that would be a disgrace.

The chairman must now hope and pray his new manager keeps Saints in the Premier League, otherwise the backlash won't be nice.

He cannot know for sure if the club will do that, so hoping and praying is all he has.