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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
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

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine