Adkins upbeat about step-up
Southampton boss Nigel Adkins is approaching the new Premier League season with no fear as he is confident his side can hold their own.
The Saints have secured back-to-back promotions from League One to the top-flight under Adkins after emerging from administration, but will now face an altogether different test. Southampton are amongst the favourites to go straight back down to the Championship, but Adkins is excited about the challenge facing his side and is hopeful they can following in the footsteps of Norwich City who went on a similar journey in recent seasons. "Everybody should be looking forward to it, enjoying it," Adkins told The Independent on Sunday. "People questioned [striker] Rickie Lambert before last season, his first in the Championship, and look how well he did. You have to have belief, go and grasp the opportunity that we have worked very hard to get. "You know you are going to play against teams and players who are better, so you have to be as smart as you can be to deal with that, try to play the game on your terms and not theirs." The Saints boss added: "We have to go into the Premier League with the belief that we can be strong in it. Aiming for 17th place is wrong. If you just fall short of it, there is a consequence. Aim higher, and if you fall short of that you've done all right."