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Nigel Adkins favourite for sack race after another Southampton defeat

| 17.09.2012

Southampton boss Nigel Adkins remains in pole position to become the Premier League’s first managerial casualty of the season after suffering 6-1 defeat to Arsenal.

The former Scunthorpe United physio is the bookies favourite for the axe at 5/2, having overseen a poor start to the south-coast club’s return to the top flight.

Early season fixtures have been unkind to Adkins’ side, who faced Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal in their first four games.

Those three losses can be marked as unfortunate, and whilst Arsenal dominated their clash with Southampton, City and United only managed narrow victories.

However, the result which is likely to be worrying the board and the fans the most so far this term is the 2-0 home defeat to fellow relegation candidates Wigan Athletic.

That match highlighted the Saints defensive inadequacies, and having conceded 15 goals in the division already this season that area is undeniably weak.

Further up the pitch things have looked better for Southampton, with recent England squad member Adam Lallana and burly frontman Rickie Lambert impressing in spurts.

The deadline day capture of Gaston Ramirez for £12m from Bologna also bodes well for the future, but Adkins will be expected to start producing a better return of results sooner rather than later.

There has been no indication from the club’s hierarchy that the manager’s position is under consideration, but if losses continue then ambitious chairman Nicola Cortese’s patience may be tested.

Despite proving a highly talented young manager in the League of Wales, England’s League One and Championship, Adkins is completely inexperienced in the Premier League.

He managed Welsh side Bangor City in the 1990’s, and then made the rapid transition from club physio to caretaker manager to full-time boss at Scunthorpe between 2006 and 2010.

Adkins only joined Southampton two years ago, and guided the club to back-to-back promotions to return them to the Premier League for the first time since 2005.

Southampton’s next league tie offers the potential for some respite, when they welcome mid-table Aston Villa to St. Mary’s Stadium.

The home side are priced at 11/8 to end their losing streak and pick up the full three points.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Author

Jamie Dickenson