Alan Shearer in frame to replace Nigel Adkins at Southampton

EXCLUSIVE: Shearer in contention at Southampton as Adkins edges closer to the brink

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UPDATED:

15:23 GMT, 31 October 2012

Nigel Adkins' future as Southampton manager has been plunged into fresh doubt following the calamitous Capital One Cup defeat at Leeds on Tuesday.

Adkins had said he was relaxed about his position following Southampton's weekend reverse to Tottenham but the pressure has come on him again following his side's meek capitulation at Elland Road, when they comfortably swept aside 3-0.

In the frame: Former Saints striker Alan Shearer at Euro 2012 (above left)

In the frame: Former Saints striker Alan Shearer at Euro 2012 (above left)

Fans' favourite: Shearer in his playing days at Southampton in 1991

Fans' favourite: Shearer in his playing days at Southampton in 1991

Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese
is anxious about the club's predicament and, after overseeing heavy
spending in the summer, is eager that the investment that has been made
in the squad does not go to waste.

It has been mooted that former Saints
striker Alan Shearer would be a high-profile candidate to succeed
Adkins, who guided Southampton to the Barclays Premier League on the
back of consecutive promotions, should Cortese and his board decide to
make a change.

On the brink: Adkins' time on the South Coast could be coming to an end

On the brink: Adkins' time on the South Coast could be coming to an end

Speaking on Tuesday night, Adkins shouldered all the blame for the defeat at Elland Road.

'We didn't perform anywhere near what's expected of a Southampton Football Club team,' he said.

Demoralising: Southampton were dumped out of the League Cup by Leeds

Demoralising: Southampton were dumped out of the League Cup by Leeds

Demoralising: Southampton were dumped out of the League Cup by Leeds

'Forty-eight hours ago we had a high-intensity game and I made the relevant changes. I take full responsibility. We wanted to play tomorrow, but the powers that be wanted it to be tonight.

'But we gave the players who have not been in the team to the chance to show what they could do, and they did not take it.'