Southampton seal promotion to Premier League
Southampton clinched promotion to the Premier League with a 4-0 victory over Coventry City on the final day of the Championship campaign on Saturday.
The Saints return to the top flight for the first time since 2005 after goals from Billy Sharp, Jose Fonte, Jos Hooiveld and Adam Lallana crushed relegated Coventry in front of a jubilant capacity crowd at St Mary's.
Nigel Adkins' side needed the win to hold off the threat from third-placed West Ham United, who would have snatched the second automatic promotion spot with their 2-1 win victory over Hull City if Southampton had lost.
Just two years ago, the south-coast club were facing an uncertain future in League One, but Adkins has masterminded a remarkable transformation and they can now look forward to locking horns with Manchester United, Chelsea and Co after back-to-back promotions.
"A lot of people have put a lot of hard work in here, the players deserve all the plaudits they'll get as everyone at this club has worked their socks off since I've been here," Adkins told the BBC. "Southampton are back in the Premier League and I'm a happy man. I'm proud and honoured."
Saints goalkeeper Kelvin Davis added: "The Premier League is a top division where we all want to play. I feel like I've got unfinished business here, so my message to the lads will be to grab the opportunity with both hands."
Southampton finished two points ahead of West Ham and one point behind champions Reading, who sealed their promotion earlier this month.