“I KNOW what will happen.

“He will just bang an absolute worldie in when no one is expecting it.”

That’s the view of former Saints ace James Beattie - and he’s talking about current striker Che Adams.

Beattie worked with Adams at Birmingham City and has kept in contact with him since he left the Championship side to head south last summer.

But it’s yet to work out for the young striker, as he is still searching for his first goal of the season.

However, Beattie, having seen what he did week in, week out at Birmingham, is confident his luck will change.

“I speak to Che on a regular basis and he just needs to remember his process, remember his training and to try and relax a little bit. The more you go after it, the more pensive you can become,” Beattie explained to the Daily Echo.

“He’s been playing well because he’s been assisting. I still think he can be more aggressive because when he plays like that, there aren’t many who can handle him.

Daily Echo: Che AdamsChe Adams

“I think he could be more aggressive and then the goals will come because Che scores goals.

“I know for a fact that he scores goals for fun in training, so he hasn’t forgotten what to do.  

“He had a little bit of unrest in the window and made it perfectly clear that he wanted to stay and make a career at Southampton. I think he is more than capable of doing that.”

Championship side Leeds United targeted Adams throughout the January transfer window but Saints made it clear he wasn’t going to be leaving.

It came out in various reports that the striker was happy to stay at Saints and fight to regain his spot in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s starting XI.

Adams began the season leading the line for the St Mary’s side but was soon sidelined when Danny Ings started bagging goals for fun.

During his spell in the team, the former Birmingham star came agonisingly close to netting his maiden goal on a few occasions.

Despite this, Beattie has still seen an improvement in the striker since he made his £15m move last summer.

“I think as soon as he gets one goal, then he’ll get a few,” added the former Saint.

“The biggest change for me with Che was the improvement in his mentality and actually knowing why he was training and why he was wanting to get better.

“He matured so much in that last 12 months and I can imagine this is a difficult time for him because he’ll be very anxious about it.

Daily Echo: Adams netted 22 times for Birmingham last seasonAdams netted 22 times for Birmingham last season

“But as a striker you have to go back to your process and I know he scores goals for fun in training.

“But he is mentally strong, resilient and hopefully that goal isn’t too far in the future.”

Saints tried to sign Adams in January 2019 and tabled an offer that Birmingham, which had Beattie as their first team coach, refused to accept.

At the time, the Blues were struggling in the Championship and needed the 23-year-old to fire them up the table.

He scored a total of 22 goals throughout the campaign, ending the season as their Player of the Year.

Because of this, whether it happened during the initial January chase or in the summer, Beattie knew Adams was destined for the Premier League.

“I knew he could make the transition. There was no doubt about that,” Beattie reflected.

“He had such a fantastic season last year which made it inevitable that someone was going to come in for him.

“I’m happy it was Southampton and he was asking me about the surrounding area and what it was like.

“I know he has got a really nice girlfriend who keeps him levelheaded, which is really important for a young player.”

Although it would have been a conflict of interest for Beattie to tell Adams to join Saints, the ex-England striker knew the 23-year-old was joining the right team.

He added: “I’ve still got a great affinity with the club and I thought he would get looked after because of the way the club is.

“The facilities are second to none and I knew he was going into a good squad with a good manager. I thought it was a very good move for him.”

Daily Echo: James Beattie was speaking at the opening of Swanmore College's new 3G pitch (Pic: Jody Kingzett)James Beattie was speaking at the opening of Swanmore College's new 3G pitch (Pic: Jody Kingzett)

Beattie’s best season in a Saints shirt came back in the 2002/03 season, with the hitman scoring 23 goals in the Premier League and finishing second in the race for the Golden Boot.

That’s still the Saints record for most goals scored in a top-flight campaign, although Ings is closing in on that with 14.

“I always remember playing in a two and that’s one of the main reasons why they’ve done a lot better because having two strikers on the pitch is a massive plus for the team,” continued Beattie.

“The form he’s been in, whether it’s been Michael, Che or Longy, they are good foils for Ingsy.

“Going back to my day it was Brett. He did so much work and didn’t necessarily get the goals he should have or maybe deserve but it’s always a partnership.”

Beattie was speaking to the Daily Echo at the opening of Swanmore College’s new 3G multi-purpose pitch.

This is part of his work as an ambassador for the Football Foundation, which is the largest sports charity in the UK.

The 41-year-old put on a coaching session for some of Swanmore College’s pupils and outlined the importance of having a newly-built pitch.

He said: “I am an ambassador for the Football Foundation and when you get to my age after you’ve finished playing you want to give something back. I saw this as a really fitting way to do that. 

“The facility can be hired out and would be available to anybody within the wider community.

“When people go onto the facility, you can just see instant smiles on their faces.

“It also creates a good revenue stream for the school but also gives people within the community the opportunity to play sport which is really important.

“It gives the kids and adults a facility to use 365 days a year. I wish I could have played on them.”

The Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation is the largest sports charity in the UK. They are committed to improving the experience of playing football for everyone who loves the beautiful game and aim to transform lives and strengthen communities by unlocking the power of pitches.