Demba Ba signing could see Chelsea challenge for title says Nigel Adkins

Southampton play Chelsea in the Premier League tonight

Southampton boss Nigel Adkins believes the signing of Demba Ba could see Chelsea fight for the Barclays Premier League title this season.

The Blues are currently 14 points behind leaders Manchester United but play their game in hand against the Saints this evening and Adkins reckons Rafael Benitez's side remain in the title hunt, even if the Chelsea fans are still yet to be won over by the Spaniard.

"I think with the addition of Demba Ba now and whoever else they might bring in they look a very well-equipped side to go for the title," he said.

"It will be an interesting one but obviously he (Benitez) has started well in respect that they have won games, he is a good manager and has won the European Cup and the team play good.

"The experience of playing them here at St Mary's 10 days ago they have got exceptionally good football players who play good football and if you give them half an opportunity they will capitalise on that.

"Will he win the fans around, who knows? I think there has obviously been a big turnaround in managers at Chelsea anyway and I think you will find that Chelsea fans are passionate about their football club."

Adkins refused to confirm the Saints were close to the signing of Norway defender Vegard Forren from Molde and also stopped short of ruling Luke Shaw out of the trip to Stamford Bridge despite the 17-year-old suffering a nasty cut to his leg last weekend.

Adkins was more forthcoming about his support for striker Jay Rodriguez, who was accused of diving to win the decisive penalty in Saturday's 1-0 win over Aston Villa.

When asked if he felt the former Burnley forward had dived, Adkins had a bullish response: "He's not a diver. We don't advocate diving here whatsoever.

"We could have had seven or eight penalties this season, we don't surround the referee, we allow the referees to make the decisions.

"When you look at the one at the weekend there was intent there, it was a poor challenge from the defender, correct there is no contact made but it's still a poor challenge from the defender - Jay is a young lad who is so enthusiastic."

Adkins also said that his team must continue to create situations where the officials are forced into making big decisions.

He said: "All we need to do is keep getting the ball in the penalty area in a way we give defenders decisions to make whether to challenge or not and give refs decisions whether to give penalties or not.

"Seven or eight times clearly we should have had penalties. That's the reality of football."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent