Royal appointment: Nigel Adkins urges Reading to 'dare to dream'

Former Southampton manager signs contract until 2016

“Dare to dream” was the message Nigel Adkins gave Reading's players after taking over at the relegation-threatened club today.

Just 67 days after his surprise sacking by Southampton, the 48-year-old has returned to the Barclays Premier League as successor to Brian McDermott - the man that beat him to the npower Championship crown last season.

Adkins has penned a three-year deal at the Madejski Stadium and now has the unenviable task of turning around what looks to be a sinking ship.

Reading are seven points adrift of safety with just eight matches remaining, but the new manager exuded confidence at his unveiling today.

"You have got to have belief," Adkins said. "You have got to dare to dream.

"Can we dare to dream that we're going to win the amount of games that we've got to go and accumulate the points? We've got to.

"What we've got is spirit - that is the big thing that you've always seen here at Reading.

"There is a spirit and camaraderie amongst the players and that is invaluable, especially at the latter stages of a season.

"It will take you a hell of a long way as it was demonstrated last season with the run Reading went on.

"We've got to believe and I know, having spoken with Brian and other people here at Reading, there was a belief that there were games here at the end of the season to go and win. I think that gives us a great start."

The news of McDermott's sacking broke when Adkins was in Germany, where he was spending a week with Bundesliga club Hamburg.

The former Saints boss was initially understood not to have not been interested in the Royals post, with reports suggesting he even turned the job down at one point.

Brighton manager Gus Poyet also rejected the opportunity to replace McDermott and Adkins was keen not to discuss the process that saw him appointed.

"I am the Reading manager so we can talk about discussions that might have gone on previously but we look to the future," said the new Royals boss, who also rejected talk he spoke to Leeds at the weekend.

"I have just been appointed the Reading manager. I am very happy about that and we look forward with positivity and I think that's important."

Adkins, who is joined by assistant Andy Crosby, headed straight to the club's Hogwood Park training base after the press conference as he prepares for a hectic start to life at the helm.

His first home game is a mouth-watering clash with former club Southampton, although this weekend's trip to Arsenal comes first.

"It is quite an interesting challenge because first and foremost we've got to amongst the players," Adkins said.

"Some aren't going to get back until Thursday afternoon and we have a game on Saturday so, hey, it is a great challenge to put all that together.

"It is one I am really looking forward to. I have been out of work for a couple of months and you kick your heels."

Adkins was one of six on the top table at this morning's unveiling, taking centre stage alongside Reading owner Anton Zingarevich.

The Russian has come under criticism for sacking McDermott and failing to adequately strengthen the Royals squad.

However, Zingarevich laid the blame at McDermott's door, highlighting a failure to recruit in the January transfer window.

"What has been tough in the summer is that we didn't have any scouting at all," he said.

"The idea was to bring players in the summer and then do more in January.

"We tried to sign very big players in January but we weren't really successful. I thought we should have done more."

Zingarevich, looking uncomfortable at times, defended the timing of McDermott's sacking and believes Adkins can take the club "to the next level".

He also rejected the notion that the Royals are all but relegated.

"I think we definitely have a good chance [to stay up]," Zingarevich added.

"We are in the Premier League, we have eight games to go, winnable games, so we will do our best and then sit down at the end of the season and decided what we do next."

PA

NIGEL ADKINS FACTFILE

1965: Born March 11, Birkenhead.

1981: Experiences management for the first time as he leads a Sunday League side.

1983: Starts a professional career as a goalkeeper with Tranmere Rovers.

1986: Moves to Wigan, for whom he makes more than 150 appearances.

1993: Takes a player-manager role with Bangor City, winning league titles in 1994 and 1995 and qualifying for Europe at the same time. Has to retire from playing after breaking his back.

1996: Joins Scunthorpe as a physio having gained a degree at Salford University.

2006 - November: Put in caretaker charge of Scunthorpe after Brian Laws leaves to take over at Sheffield Wednesday.

December 6: Given the job on a full-time basis and Scunthorpe go on to win League One.

2008: Scunthorpe are relegated from the Championship under Adkins.

2009 - April: Adkins takes Scunthorpe to the LDV Trophy final which they lose to Luton, but guides them back to the Championship via the play-offs.

2010 - September 12: After keeping Scunthorpe in the Championship, Adkins moves to Southampton, replacing Alan Pardew.

2011 - May 7: Wins promotion from League One.

2012 - April 28: Becomes the first Southampton manager to win back-to-back promotions as Southampton head to the Premier League.

2013 - January 16: Saints come back from 2-0 down at European champions Chelsea to secure a 2-2 draw.

January 18: With Southampton 15th in the Premier League, Adkins is sacked and replaced by Mauricio Pochettino.

March 25: Named as Reading boss on a deal until the summer of 2016.

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Life and Style
The spring/summer 2015 Louis Vuitton show for Paris Fashion Week
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?