Tag Archives: adkins

Arsene Wenger hails Gervinho after Arsenal beat Reading

Wenger hails Gervinho as Arsenal stay in the hunt for Champions League place

By
Jim Van Wijk, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

20:44 GMT, 30 March 2013

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UPDATED:

20:44 GMT, 30 March 2013

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hailed the confident display of Gervinho after the Ivory Coast forward set the Gunners on the way to a 4-1 win over relegation-battlers Reading which kept them in the hunt for Champions League qualification.

Gervinho has often cut a controversial figure among supporters following a string of frustrating displays following an 11million move from Lille in July 2011.

However, the 25-year-old was on the money this afternoon, opening the scoring on 11 minutes and having a hand in everything positive as Arsenal eventually broke the Royals stubborn resistance again at the start of the second half when Santi Cazorla sweeping home. Olivier Giroud added a third following a quick break by Gervinho.

Key role: Gervinho was praised by Arsene Wenger following his performance against Reading

Key role: Gervinho was praised by Arsene Wenger following his performance against Reading

Hal Robson-Kanu headed in a consolation for Nigel Adkins' men, but there was to be no recovery to mark their new manager's first match in charge as Mikel Arteta's penalty made sure Arsenal closed up on Chelsea in the race for fourth-spot and also remained within striking distance of Tottenham, on whom they hold a match in hand.

'Gervinho's performance was very strong. He was always dangerous, always looked like he could score, gave assists and scored himself,' Wenger said.

'I believe that sometimes Gervinho has lost confidence because he played in a very negative atmosphere during a period. Strikers need confidence, and [with] his game, even more.

Winning feeling: Gervinho celebrates with team mate Bacary Sagna after the 4-1 victory

Winning feeling: Gervinho celebrates with team mate Bacary Sagna after the 4-1 victory

'He was always taking the ball and going forward, and provoking. When you lose confidence, that is a very dangerous game then.

'When he has found the confidence back, he's a very dangerous player.

'At the African Nations Cup, for me he was the best striker there. He is the type of player who is difficult to find, because they always go at people.'

Wenger was pleased with the final result for his side, who have now won six of their last eight league games and also won 2-0 away over Bayern Munich in the Champions League, although still bowing out of Europe.

'I enjoyed our technical side, our creative side, our spirit and how disciplined and focused we were,' said Wenger.

Mind the gap: Arsene Wenger fighting for Champions League qualification

Mind the gap: Arsene Wenger fighting for Champions League qualification

'The regret you have is that there were more goals in this game than the number of goals we scored.

'Overall, it's a good basis to finish the season well. Let's just keep that spirit, that attitude and play the football we want to play.'

Wenger called for his side to keep their performances high over the run-in, with little margin for error if they are to gatecrash the top four once again.

'What we do is we look at the table and we are still behind Chelsea and Tottenham. We are not in a calculation mode,' he said.

'We can just win our next game and continue to do what we do at the moment.

'We are on a run so let's take care of the quality of our game and that run. After, we'll see where we stand.

On target: Gervinho was on the scoresheet

On target: Gervinho was on the scoresheet

'It (Champions League qualification) will be less predictable than it was predicted. We have a word to say in that and we want to give our best to do it.'

For Reading, meanwhile, the outlook is not so positive as the defeat sent them bottom of the table on goal difference, some seven points adrift of safety.

However, with a home clash against former club Southampton, Adkins is not about to throw in the towel just yet.

He said: 'We have had a bit of a fragmented week with the change, and players away on international duty, trying to get to grips with where we want to go and what to do is going to be challenging.

'We wanted to get something here, but didn't. Arsenal kept the ball very well.

'We will analyse it now, debrief back with the players, take the lessons from it and work very hard on the training ground for the next one.

'You can't change everything straight away, but we will all work hard together to give us a chance in the next game.'

Adkins added: 'The spirit is there in the group, and all we can do is take it one match at a time – there here and now is putting this one to bed, working hard over the course of the week for the next one.'

Gus Poyet in contention for Reading job

Poyet in contention for Reading job as they eye new boss for Premier League survival bid

By
Sam Cunningham

PUBLISHED:

19:24 GMT, 12 March 2013

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UPDATED:

20:32 GMT, 12 March 2013

Gus Poyet has emerged as a contender for the vacant manager job at Reading following Brian McDermott's sacking.

The Brighton boss is chasing a Championship play-off spot and Reading would only be keen on a move for the Uruguayan if they could agree a financial deal to bring him to the club swiftly, as they look for someone to keep them in the Premier League.

A source close to Poyet said he would be keen on a move closer to London but added he is happy at Brighton and would only consider taking the job if he was part of a long-term project.

Contender: Gus Poyet is keen on the Reading job

Contender: Gus Poyet is keen on the Reading job

McDermott has left the country with a friend to reflect on the last couple of days after he was left devastated by the decision to sack him.

Paolo Di Canio was installed as an early bookies favourite and is known to want the post and the chance to manage a Premier League club. Roberto Di Matteo is also a candidate, but sources close to the former Chelsea manager say he is not interested.

And Nigel Adkins, who is not currently in charge at a club after he was sacked by Southampton, is under consideration.

Roberto Di Matte

Paolo Di Canio

An Italian's job Roberto Di Matteo is understood not to be keen on the job but Paolo Di Canio is

Reading announced yesterday that owner Anton Zingarevich said it was the 'hardest decision of his life' to sack McDermott but that 'he and Brian remain on good terms after meeting in person on Monday.'

Zingarevich and Eamonn Dolan, head of the club's academy who has been brought in as caretaker manager, met with first team players and staff at their Hogwood Park training ground yesterday.

End of the road: Brian McDermott was sacked by Reading on Monday

End of the road: Brian McDermott was sacked by Reading on Monday

Dolan also held a series of meetings throughout the day ahead of their Premier League match against Manchester United on Saturday, where he is expected to take charge. First team coaches Nigel Gibbs and Yannis Anastasiou have also both left the club.

Following the game against United there is a two-week gap before their next fixture away to Arsenal, and Reading are yet to formally approach any potential candidates.

Arsene Wenger praises Southampton"s youth set-up

Cheers for Theo and Ox! Wenger praises Saints youth set-up ahead of St Mary's trip

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UPDATED:

10:59 GMT, 31 December 2012

Arsene Wenger has lavished praise on Southampton's youth policy as Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain prepare to make their returns to St Mary's tomorrow.

The Arsenal manager has found the south-coast club a valuable market place in recent seasons, signing Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain from the Saints.

The duo both went on to earn England call-ups within months of their high-profile moves to north London and have since established themselves as important members of Wenger's plans.

Homecoming: Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain were both products of the Southampton youth system

Homecoming: Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain were both products of the Southampton youth system

But the Gunners pair are not the only top Premier League players to have come through the highly-respected Southampton academy.

Gareth Bale, Chris Baird and Wayne Bridge have all gone on to have well-established top-flight careers after being nurturing at Southampton.

And the club's consistency in nurturing young talent has not gone amiss by Wenger, whose side face Nigel Adkins' men tomorrow.

'The question of Southampton's academy set-up is a very good one because they have done a fabulous job,' said the Frenchman, whose side have won four successive Premier League matches.

'Why It is down to the quality of their scouting, the quality of their coaching and education. When you look at what Bale is doing, and Walcott.

'And now they have they players like Morgan Schneiderlin, they have brought some players of top, top quality and they work well. They have fantastic scouting.'

Striker: Walcott scored a hat-trick during Arsenal's 7-3 win over Newcastle

Striker: Walcott scored a hat-trick during Arsenal's 7-3 win over Newcastle

Arsenal will be expected to make it five league wins on the spin down on the south-coast, particularly after the 6-1 mauling of the newly-promoted side earlier in the season.

But after a disastrous start to the campaign, that very nearly cost Adkins his job, Southampton have improved significantly – though they still go into the clash against Arsenal in the bottom three.

And speaking after Saturday's 7-3 trouncing over Newcastle, Wenger has fired a warning to his players, saying: 'They are not comfortable [opponents], Southampton.

'I saw them against Fulham, I will watch them against Stoke (on video), but from what I've heard they played very well.'

The Ox: Oxlade-Chamberlain was also among the Arsenal scorers against the Geordies

The Ox: Oxlade-Chamberlain was also among the Arsenal scorers against the Geordies

He added: 'They are a team that has learned in the Premier League now. Usually you find in February or in January a different team to what you see in August or September.

'We will train on Sunday and Monday and go to Southampton on Monday night to prepare the game. It is another game that is very important over the Christmas period.'

Meanwhile, what is shaping up to be the busiest January transfer window in Wenger's managerial career also kicks off tomorrow.

Thierry Henry, who is currently training with the Gunners, is expected to sign a short-term loan deal – but Wenger insists the clash against Southampton will come too early for the Frenchman.

'He has just come back from holiday and is a bit short to play on Tuesday night,' added Wenger.

Fulham need Dimitar Berbatov to be happy, says Martin Jol

Boss Jol admits only a happy Berbatov can help struggling Fulham prosper again

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 25 December 2012

Fulham's fortunes have fluctuated this season, almost in time to the mood swings of Dimitar Berbatov.

Manager Martin Jol wants to see his striker smiling again and he admits that it may require a nudge in the ribs to achieve it.

Fulham were thumped 4-0 by Liverpool on Saturday and another defeat at home to Southampton could see them sucked into a relegation battle.

Smile, it's Christmas: Dimitar Berbatov is without a goal since early November

Smile, it's Christmas: Dimitar Berbatov is without a goal since early November

Berbatov is without a goal since the start of November and Jol is clearly concerned.

'If things are going well then everyone will be happy with him but if things are not going well then he can be unhappy,' said Jol.

'He is almost used to winning at the clubs where he was [before] so we have to talk to him.

'He has to put in the same attitude and work rate that he always did. When he does that there’s no problem but he is a player who we have to keep on his toes. We were very happy with him for the first couple of months and we have to keep each other happy.'

Jol confirmed he is interested in Derby’s young midfielder Will Hughes but is unsure of winning the 10million race to buy him.

'He’s a wonderful talent. Believe me there is probably at least 10 clubs out of the Barclays Premier League having a look at him,' he said. 'We’ve been really stretched in the last few weeks so I feel that we will have a good look at the transfer market.'

Southampton’s search for points is even more urgent but manager Nigel Adkins wants entertainment too.

Adkins was unhappy with his side’s dour performance in the home defeat by Sunderland, when Southampton failed to score for only the fourth time in 18 Premier League games.

He said: 'I hope the Fulham game will be more entertaining. I get frustrated when the games aren’t entertaining.'

2012 football review: people of the months – Michael Walker

From the return of the King to the magic of Messi… the people of the months of 2012

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UPDATED:

23:08 GMT, 23 December 2012

As a dramatic and memorable 2012 draws to a close, Michael Walker looks back on a year on the footballing road, naming his people of the month from January through to December…

January: Thierry Henry

They will not forget 9/1/12 in north London. It was the night King Henry came back to Arsenal, hopped off the bench and scored the only goal in an FA Cup third-round tie against Leeds. They were crying out for a special occasion at the stadium. Henry walked past his statue outside the ground and delivered.

Return of the King: Henry celebrates netting the winner against Leeds

Return of the King: Henry celebrates netting the winner against Leeds

February: Eddie Howe

In his Burnley office, one of England's brightest young managers discussed the fact that the Premier League had just three English managers while, in the Championship, there were 17. 'Strange', was Howe's assessment. Adkins and Allardyce have since upped the numbers. Howe's back at Bournemouth.

March: Pete Williams

On a bitter Tuesday night in Burslem, Pete Williams was outside Port Vale's grand old ground with a bucket. It is people like Williams – supporters – who keep clubs going. Vale's future was in doubt in March. They had entered administration and been docked 10 points. Thanks to fans such as Williams, Vale are going again, second in League Two.

April: Brian McDermott

It was easier being Reading's manager in April. The club had just returned to the Premier League by winning 14 of 16 league games from the end of January. The previous May's play-off final defeat could be forgotten and McDermott spoke of his 'lovely club'. Along the way, he turned down Wolves. Some people may choose to forget that.

Man of the hour: McDermott is hoisted aloft by his players after securing the Championship title

Man of the hour: McDermott is hoisted aloft by his players after securing the Championship title

May: Harry Gregg

48 hours after Manchester United had the title snatched out of their hands by Sergio Aguero, Sir Alex Ferguson took his players to Belfast to honour Harry Gregg. Sometimes the build-up to testimonials is more meaningful than the game and, in the programme, Ferguson recalled hearing of the 1958 Munich crash and wrote: 'Harry, for this 16-yearold from Govan, you were and remain my hero.'

June: Vicente Del Bosque

Remember when Spain were boring In northern Poland, Del Bosque was flabbergasted at the lack of understanding of his team's style, and the non-stop chatter. He was visibly bemused: Spain were about to become the first country in history to win three major tournaments in a row. Del Bosque reminisced to a time when there was less noise inside and outside the game, to a time when 'dressing rooms were utterly still, like inside a cathedral'.

Champions of Europe: Del Bosque's side parade through the streets of Madrid

Champions of Europe: Del Bosque's side parade through the streets of Madrid

July: Stewart Regan

Thunderous July rain in Glasgow accompanied an apocalyptic vision. Regan, the SFA chief executive, reacted to Rangers' shock exclusion from the SPL by inviting reporters upstairs at Hampden Park to warn of 'Armageddon' and 'the game withering on the vine' if Rangers were forced to re-start below Scottish Division One. A month later, Rangers drew 2- 2 at Peterhead in Division Three.

August: Rob Green

He didn't look happy and you could understand why. After six years at West Ham, Green joined QPR. His debut was a 5-0 home defeat by Swansea. Yet, 10 days later, against Walsall in the League Cup, it got worse. QPR won 3-0, but up in the stands was Julio Cesar. QPR were making a statement. Green, given no explanation, was left to read between its lines. Shoddy.

Shunned: Green was harshly treated by QPR

Shunned: Green was harshly treated by QPR

September: Margaret Aspinall

The report from the Hillsborough Independent Panel was a release of sorts for the Family Support Group. Football responded, notably Everton on the night they hosted Newcastle. They played the Hollies' He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother. Margaret recalled that her son James, 18, killed at Hillsborough, had bought the record for her.

October: Georgios Samaras

Unlikely, unfashionable but unflagging, Samaras had a year to remember. He was relentless for Greece at Euro 2012 and, for Celtic, he has been decisive in Europe. It was his deflected header in October that gave them a lead in Barcelona. They lost to a late goal, but we all know what happened when Barca came to Celtic Park two weeks later.

Unlikely hero: Samaras (right) heads home in Barcelona

Unlikely hero: Samaras (right) heads home in Barcelona

November: Chib Chilaka

For a while, it seemed like the most memorable feature of Torquay v Harrogate in the FA Cup first round proper would be the view from Plainmoor. Then, beaming Chilaka popped up for Harrogate to produce a trademark upset. Afterwards, he spoke like an ambassador for the part-time game. It was a classic FA Cup day.

December: Lionel Messi

We are fortunate to be witnessing greatness. Some can moan about the calendar year goal-tally, but not over Messi's talent. He has joined the list of the true greats at 25. Without him, Barcelona would be a very good team; with him, they are as good a side as has been seen. A prediction for 2013, or more like a guess: Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea (again) and Arsenal will have new managers in place by August. For United, that would mean the end of the Ferguson era. It is difficult to behold, but if another title or European Cup comes, it would be an appropriately successful way for Ferguson to go. But it is an if.

The world's greatest: Messi celebrates yet another goal for Barcelona

The world's greatest: Messi celebrates yet another goal for Barcelona

Nigel Adkins finally faces boyhood team Liverpool

Treat for Saints manager Adkins as he finally gets to face his boyhood team

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 30 November 2012

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins has wanted to face Liverpool for years – and is finally getting the opportunity.

The 47-year-old was a schoolboy at Liverpool when he was a young goalkeeper before eventually signing his first professional contract at Tranmere.

When he was manager at Scunthorpe every time the club were in the third-round FA Cup draw he hoped his hometown club would be pulled out of the bag.

Fun times: Nigel Adkins will enjoy going to Anfield... provided Luis Suarez doesn't run riot

Fun times: Nigel Adkins will enjoy going to Anfield… provided Luis Suarez doesn't run riot

That never happened – but back-to-back promotions has meant he no longer needs to rely on a lucky cup draw to face his former club and will head to Anfield for the first time on Saturday.

Adkins said: 'We will relish going to a big stadium like Liverpool. I have good memories of Liverpool. I remember training with Ray Clemence and saving a penalty from Graeme Souness in a practice game and playing alongside Alan Hansen and Kenny Dalglish in small-sides games.

'I enjoyed being at Anfield as a player and I’m looking forward to going there as a manager'

The Saints boss learned a lot from his time at Liverpool and their ethics still influence his managerial decisions today.

He added: 'You grow up with the history of Liverpool Football Club. When you are there it models your thoughts – the culture surrounding it. There were close-knit training session in the evenings with the likes of Roy Evans, Ronnie Moran and Joe Fagan around. Bob Paisley would give us a team talk before a FA Youth Cup game.

'They have always had this continuity and the next manager would always come through the system and they kept that continuity which was good. It showed that they had close-knit group of staff who all contribute in a big way.'

He is not the only one at Southampton to dream of going to Anfield. Midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin has been a Liverpool fan since his time as an academy player in France. He said when he was growing up in France people either chose the Merseyside club or Manchester United but his mind was made up watching them come back against AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final.

Collection duty: Morgan Schneiderlin (right) might pick up a few Liverpool shirts

Collection duty: Morgan Schneiderlin (right) might pick up a few Liverpool shirts

He said: 'I was in an academy in Strasbourg and we were watching the game in the same room, there were just an amazing atmosphere, 40 young players were watching that game. It was an amazing moment and I picked them.'

The 23-year-old has already has his friends in France on the phone trying to persuade him to get various players shirts after the match. He has always been a huge fan of Steven Gerrard and will get his shirt first – but only if Southampton win today.

Schneiderlin added: 'Some friends already called me and said “Morgan bring me the shirt, bring me the shirt”. I'm not focussed on that but I will see at the end of the game if we win I will ask for some shirts. If we lose I will be in the shower as quick as possible and gone.'

If Saints win today you might see a young midfielder running around collecting as many Liverpool shirts as possible after the final whistle.

Mark Clattenburg criticised by both managers on return

Welcome back! Ref Clattenburg slammed by Adkins and Hughton on return

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UPDATED:

23:47 GMT, 28 November 2012

Mark Clattenburg came under fire on his return to Premier League refereeing at St Mary's on Wednesday night.

The 37-year-old official took charge of his first game since being wrongly accused of racially abusing John Obi Mikel on October 28 in the 1-1 draw between Southampton and Norwich.

But Clattenburg ended up being criticised by BOTH managers after the final whistle

Back: Referee Mark Clattenburg returned to duty on Wednesday night

Back: Referee Mark Clattenburg returned to duty on Wednesday night

The Tyne and Wear official missed a Rickie Lambert's handball in the lead up to the striker putting Southampton ahead in the 32nd minute.

And Norwich boss Chris Hughton said: 'I have seen it again and the first impression of the players there were to appeal for handball.

'I spoke to a couple of players that were very close to the incident and they both said it was handball.

'Nothing has changed my mind since seeing it. I think it is a difficult one as there were a lot of bodies there but certainly it was a handball.

'But we showed enough character to get back in and we've done that. We have had two tough away games and we have done well.'

The decisions surrounding both goals may have left the managers frustrated but both were pleased to see Clattenburg refereeing again.

'He is an excellent referee,' Hughton
said. 'I think probably more than the actual performance itself, I
think I speak for most when I say we were absolutely delighted to see
him back.

Under fire: Clattenburg was criticised by both managers after the game

Under fire: Clattenburg was criticised by both managers after the game

'He has a real passion for what he does and he is very, very good at what he does.

'We need as many good referees and them performing week in, week out.'

Saints manager Nigel Adkins was not overly complimentary about Clattenburg on his return to the game.

The Liverpudlian was aggrieved that the referee awarded Norwich the free-kick that led to their goal, and said: 'I didn't think it was a free kick at the time and I still don't after seeing it again.

'I've spoken to [Nathaniel] Clyne who says he touched the ball. We are disappointed it has been given and he made some other interesting calls during the course of the night.

But Adkins also said: 'Of course I am pleased to see him back.

'It was an unfortunate situation that arose and meant he was out for a month, but he is a fine referee and has a great career in front of him.'

James Ward-Prowse signs new Southampton deal

Rising Saints star Ward-Prowse pens long-term deal at St Mary's

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UPDATED:

20:20 GMT, 19 November 2012

Contract: Ward-Prowse has signed a new deal

Contract: Ward-Prowse has signed a new deal

Southampton rising star James Ward-Prowse has signed a new five-year contract, the Barclays Premier League club have announced.

Ward-Prowse, 18, made his top-flight bow on the opening day of the season and has gone on to play 10 games so far this term.

His performances have led to claims that he could be the latest Southampton Academy product to be tempted away from Saint Mary's Stadium, but he put a stop to that speculation when Saints announced the midfielder had signed a new deal.

A statement on Southampton's website read: 'Saints are delighted to announce that James Ward-Prowse has signed a new five-year contract.'

Ward-Prowse grew up as a Portsmouth supporter, but joined Pompey's south coast rivals as an eight-year-old.

Rising star: The Saints youngster in action for the England Under 19s

Rising star: The Saints youngster in action for the England Under 19s

The midfielder impressed through the youth ranks at Saints and made his first-team debut a week before his 17th birthday last season.

Manager Nigel Adkins deemed the teenager ready for top-flight football at the start of the season, and he has been one of the few success stories at the struggling club so far this term.

Ward-Prowse, who played a key part in Southampton's win over QPR on Saturday, told the club's website: 'I'm absolutely delighted. 'It was nice that we got the win on Saturday, and it's nice to put pen to paper. I can kick on from here.

'It's been an absolute whirlwind to go from playing under-18 football against lower league teams to playing against the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United.'

Mark Hughes vows to fight on at QPR

Harry come and save us! Fans call for Hughes to go but QPR boss vows to fight on

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UPDATED:

18:57 GMT, 17 November 2012

Under-fire manager Mark Hughes bemoaned the worst display of his QPR tenure but vowed to fight on after defeat to fellow strugglers Southampton.

Much was made of the game's importance to the future of both the Welshman and Saints boss Nigel Adkins, whose side headed to Loftus Road a point and a place better off than the hosts.

QPR, though, failed to turn up and went off at half-time to a chorus of boos, having deservedly fallen behind to Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon goals.

Come in, Harry: Mark Hughes has vowed to fight on at QPR despite the fans turning on him

Come in, Harry: Mark Hughes has vowed to fight on at QPR despite the fans turning on him

Come in, Harry: Mark Hughes has vowed to fight on at QPR despite the fans turning on him

Junior Hoilett clawed one back four minutes into the second half but Southampton ensured a 3-1 victory courtesy of a late Anton Ferdinand own goal, leaving the Rs without a win this season and their manager under increasing pressure.

Asked if it was the worst QPR performance of his time in charge, Hughes said, 'Yes, without a shadow of a doubt.

'Today there was not that intensity. We weren't on the front foot, we weren't anticipating anything, we weren't aggressive enough. All the fundamentals that you need to build a performance [were not there].

'Maybe the anxiety of the significance of the game filtered through to them but, come on, the vast majority of them are very experienced.

'It shouldn't affect them in that manner and it surprised me that possibly it did. I can well understand the reaction [from the fans]. In fairness, it was exactly my reaction to that performance.

'We are not going to hide or try to make it positive out of a very big negative because it was a huge game for everybody connect with Queens Park Rangers, including myself, players, staff and fans.

'We have not performed, unfortunately, so when that happens it puts us in a situation that no-one anticipated this year but we are where we are.'

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes has previously been forthright in his public backing of Hughes, who insists he has no intention of walking away.

'I don't run away from challenges,' he said. 'This is a huge challenge. It was a huge challenge in January when I undertook it.

'There weren't too many people queuing up when I decided it was the right role for me. I knew it was going to be problematic. We all understood that.

Out of ideas: Try as they might, QPR just couldn't find a way back against Southampton

Out of ideas: Try as they might, QPR just couldn't find a way back against Southampton

'This year we obviously had real expectations and I was quite prepared to raise expectations because I thought we would have a good season.

'It hasn't quite happened, unfortunately, and because we have raised expectations more people are disappointed.'

Some QPR fans held up a sign saying 'Harry, come and save us', referring to former Tottenham boss Redknapp, and Southampton boss Adkins feels for the pressure today's result heaps on his opposite number.

'It's obviously my first year in the Barclays Premier League and you understand now the media attention intensifies,' he said.

'But Mark's a good guy, and you're always going to have the intensity of it. You understand that and you get on with it.'

Adkins looked relieved by the result in the post-match press conference and lauded his players' for their impressive display in west London.

'It was a good performance from us again today and it culminated in the three points we were after,' he said. 'I think it shows a good growing maturity about the players as well. We've come away from home and picked up three good points.

Net gains: Ricky Lambert got the ball rolling for Saints as they eased the pressure on Nigel Adkins

Net gains: Ricky Lambert got the ball rolling for Saints as they eased the pressure on Nigel Adkins

'You're in the Premier League and every game brings its own pressures, its own demands. We're after winning games of football. We're after developing the players.

'You could see again that we have players that are maturing all the time. There were some really good performances.

'We had a good defensive shape about ourselves today. We know we can score goals, we scored three goals away from home.

'There is a confidence growing all the time amongst the players we've got. In the Premier League, you're always going to get the media attention and when you're at the top or the bottom it is only going to intensify.'

Asked if he thinks the result helps to relief the pressure on his own position, Adkins added: 'I am a manager in the Premier League.

'You guys (the media) are always going to keep the pressure on everybody.'

Rickie Lambert: Southampton can avoid relegation

We'll pull-off great escape! Saints striker Lambert confident of avoiding drop

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UPDATED:

01:25 GMT, 17 November 2012

Southampton are no strangers to the relegation zone — two seasons ago they were in that position in League One.

But striker Rickie Lambert, who was part of Nigel Adkins’ team on their way to the Barclays Premier League in successive seasons, believes they can turn things around.

‘We’re used to winning at Southampton,’ he said. ‘For two years now we’ve constantly won. All of a sudden we’ve hit a bad patch but two-and-a-half years ago we were in a very bad patch and we managed to turn it around in the end.

Onwards and upwards: Lambert believes Southampton can stop the rot

Onwards and upwards: Lambert believes Southampton can stop the rot

‘We’re hoping just to grind out a couple of results, then hopefully start getting our confidence and play and climb up the league.’

There is no getting away from the fact a gap is opening up between the bottom three and the rest of the league. Aston Villa in 17th are three points ahead of Reading, four from Saints and five from rock-bottom QPR, who host Southampton today.

‘If we were closer I’d say, “People are overreacting”, but we’re in danger of falling behind so we do know how important the next few games are,’

Lambert said. ‘It’s important we get the points we need in those games.

‘There’s no hiding that fact, but our fans know how fast we have gone, the promotions, they do understand why we’ve come unstuck and they are giving us time.’

Lambert has been the club’s top scorer in the past three seasons and knocked in 27 league goals last campaign and 22 the year before. The 30-year-old added: ‘I haven’t scored in six games. I’ll be trying to rectify that against QPR.’

On the brink: Many are tipping Adkins to be the first top-flight boss for the chop

On the brink: Many are tipping Adkins to be the first top-flight boss for the chop