Adkins: We're all working hard

Nigel Adkins insists Southampton are ready to make their mark on the Premier League after securing their first win of the season with a 4-1 thrashing of Aston Villa.

Prior to Saturday's rout at St Mary's, promoted Saints had lost their opening four games and were rooted to the bottom of the table.

That had put the focus on Adkins' own position, but the Southampton manager claims the manner of his side's success against Villa demonstrates the unity within the club.

Southampton recovered after falling behind to a Darren Bent goal, scoring four times in the second half, thanks to Rickie Lambert's double, a Nathaniel Clyne strike and Ciaran Clark's own goal, to secure three points.

The players have responded well, there is a great belief here at Southampton that was demonstrated again.
Nigel Adkins, Southampton manager

"This is a great victory for us, especially after going one down," Adkins said. "The players have responded well, there is a great belief here at Southampton that was demonstrated again today.

"We've just had back-to-back promotions and we know it's going to be challenging in the Premier League. And we accept that. The players have embraced and worked very hard.

"We understand that when you lose four games there can be anxiety and pressure but we want to keep passing the ball and our supporters get that."

Adkins received a loud ovation from the home support, and he added: "From a personal point of view it was very nice because it just demonstrates we are together here at Southampton. Everyone is working very hard from the chairman down, we all share the same common goal."

Gazzaniga given chance
Adkins sprang a surprise before kick-off, dropping experienced goalkeeper Kelvin Davis for 20-year-old Paulo Gazzaniga and the manager insisted that was typical of the tough decisions he will have to make this season.

"Kelvin Davis has been outstanding since I have been at the football club," he said. "He is part of everything that has gone on here and is a great professional.

"But I have to make decisions, that's what managers do. I had a chat with him and told him what I wanted to do and he's been supportive of Paulo and the team.