Bale is shining example to young stars - Adkins
Southampton boss Nigel Adkins thinks Gareth Bale is the perfect role model for the club's new batch of up-and-coming stars.
Bale returns to St Mary's Stadium on Sunday for the first time since he left the south-coast club for Tottenham as a left-back, having just graduated from the club's famed academy, which also produced the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Alan Shearer.
James Ward-Prowse and Luke Shaw are just two of the players who have recently made the step up from academy to first team, and Adkins thinks the duo could learn a lot from how Bale has handled himself throughout his career.
"He is a very professional player," the Southampton manager said. "He looks after his lifestyle and he is reaping the rewards for doing that.He is a shining example of how professional you need to be to be successful at the top level."
Adkins is aware of Bale's talents, but he insists his men cannot afford to concentrate solely on shackling the winger.
"Every player in the opposition is a threat," Adkins added. "To concentrate on one player means you neglect the others."