Everyone must save Southampton from 'relegation dogfight' says Nigel Adkins

 

Nigel Adkins accepts Southampton are in a “relegation dogfight” and need to start picking up points immediately.

The south coast side have struggled on their return to the top flight and have lost eight of their opening 10 matches, conceding a league-high 28 goals in the process.

That alarming start has seen manager Adkins come under increasing pressure ahead of tomorrow's visit of Swansea to St Mary's.

It is the first of five home matches in a six-week period for Saints, and Adkins wants to kick off that run of fixtures with three points against Michael Laudrup's side.

"It is massively important in respect that it is the next run of fixtures that we've got," Adkins said.

"We cannot do anything to affect the 10 games we've had previously. We've put them to bed now.

"We move on and we look forward to the next ones with positivity, with a steely resolve.

"Our aspiration at the start of the campaign, we've had to assess that and address that.

"We're in a relegation dogfight and we're fighting. Everyone is well aware of that.

"People have to be accountable, players have to take responsibility like every other member of staff.

"The supporters are certainly behind the football club and the players when they go on that football pitch, which is important.

"We're all going to work hard to make this a very successful season for Southampton."

Southampton head into tomorrow's match at the bottom of the Premier League and knowing a gap is already building to those outside the relegation zone.

"We've got to start getting points on the board," Adkins said.

"We've got to have that winning mentality that we've had for the last few years at the football club.

"We've just had 10 games. We've assessed where we are, we have to accept the situation but we've got to keep moving forward.

"I've changed things around. We're going to have a different stimulus by going away for a couple of days.

"I think that is good. Change the routine of groundhog day, if you like. There is a different stimulus for everybody and we come into the weekend's game which is the important one.

"After that there will be another one and another one and another one."

Southampton will be able to call upon Jack Cork for tomorrow's match after the midfielder recovered from a knee injury.

Artur Boruc could also be involved again after the club completed its investigation into allegations the goalkeeper threw a bottle at home fans and swore at them in the recent loss to Tottenham.

The game could also see much-vaunted left-back Luke Shaw get his first Premier League start.

The 17-year-old, who has attracted reported interest from the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City, came off the bench in Monday's 2-0 defeat at West Brom for his first top-flight appearance.

Adkins said: "He might have figured a little bit earlier but what we've got is a young player with huge potential.

"What we've got to do is nurture him correctly because he is still a young boy who is growing up.

"What we have to do is extract as much potential out of him and he has got to do that himself. I believe he has got a good environment where he can do that."

PA

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