Nigel Adkins prepares for old friends turned new foes


It’s one of those drama-dishing coincidences that the fixture list sometimes flings at us: Nigel Adkins’ first home game in charge of Reading tomorrow is against his former club.

In a season for managers like any other – that is, one stuffed with ridiculous firings (Roberto Di Matteo? Brian McDermott?), Southampton axing the man who brought them back-to-back promotions was one of the meanest moves of the lot.

Let’s hope Adkins goes to the right locker-room tomorrow – the lower-league physiotherapist-turned top-level manager is still accidentally referring to Southampton as if they were his club.

Of course, since Mauricio Pochettino took charge in January, Southampton have beaten Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City and soared to twelfth in the standings. So the decision’s worked out results-wise, though surely executive chairman Nicola Cortese has some bad karma coming.

Southampton goalkeeper Kelvin Davis backed Cortese’s call: “The manner in which [Pochettino] has come in and lifted the club to a new level shows it was a decision that’s been proved right. We are in a state of mind where we can feel we can win every game at the moment,” he told the BBC.

But maybe Davis would feel that way. The club captain’s state of mind can’t have been too positive after Adkins dropped him last September in favor of 20-year-old Paulo Gazzaniga, then signed the Poland veteran Artur Boruc to add competition.