Saints fans’ spokesman Mike O’Callaghan has been left “flabbergasted” by the club’s sacking of Nigel Adkins.
The SISA man was as stunned as anyone to learn of Adkins’ fate as the successful and popular manager was replaced by Mauricio Pochettino.
“I’m flabbergasted,” he said.
“He’s obviously planned to sack Adkins because the new guy is in position and that guy got sacked (by Espanyol) in November.
“I don’t get it. I don’t get the appointment.
“The chairman must be the only person who has seen negative things in the job Nigel Adkins was doing.
“My phone has been red hot with fans of Newcastle, Everton, Stoke, some from London clubs, and none of them can understand it either.
“Why get rid of someone with Premier League experience and replace him with someone with no Premier League experience at all.
“We are 15th in the table, averaging a point a game ... if you had told Saints fans last August we’d be averaging a point a game come January 99 per cent would have snapped your hand off.
“I would have. I would have been delighted with 17th, let alone a few positions higher.
“We have only lost two in 12, drawn at Fulham, Stoke, won at Aston Villa and drawn at Chelsea and we are six points above Reading and they’ve kept their manager.”
“If we had sacked Adkins and appointed an established manager from abroad or the Premier League – say, the Wigan manager – people would have understood.
“But the new guy can’t even speak English.
“You saw the problems Capello had when he was with England, and he could speak some English.
“I see Adkins’ backroom staff have also gone, so who’s going to communicate with the players?”
O’Callaghan, a lifelong Saints fan for over four decades, knows Pochettino won’t have much of a honeymoon period at St Mary’s, not with Saints still embroiled in a relegation scrap.
“Our next three games are Everton, Manchester United and Wigan,” he said. “They would have been hard games with Nigel Adkins in charge.
“They would have been tough matches even with a manager who knew all the players, knew how to motivate them and get the best out of them.
“Look at what Adkins has done with Jason Puncheon?
“As far as I can see, there were no negatives with Nigel Adkins.
“The timing is all wrong.”
O’Callaghan, 54, felt the decision was typical of the way the club is currently being run.
He again called for more interaction between the hierarchy and the supporters to clear lines of communication and explain major decisions.
“Mr Cortese, like when he got rid of Alan Pardew after a 4-0 win away to Bristol Rovers, baffles me,” he said.
“I’m a fan that cares about our club.
“What has Adkins done wrong?
“It must be a clash of personalities because he’s sacked him and the other guy has been appointed on the same day.
“Cortese is not prepared to meet the fans other than cherry picking season ticket holders.
“Together we stand we hear at Saints but there is no relationship between the club and the fans.
“Where is the continuity?
“I thought the dark days we had with Rupert Lowe in charge were over.
“Now here we are again, a laughing stock again.
“At least Rupert Lowe was the chairman of a PLC, Cortese is only the right hand man of the people who own the club.
“Cortese should realise it was ‘In Nigel We Trust’, not ‘In Nicola We Trust’.
“Cortese should have been there on Friday explaining the decision.
“Why wasn’t he there?