Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Southampton boss Nigel Adkins has warned the Saints’ fans that Norwich will present a formidable obstacle as they hunt a third consecutive Premier League win of the season.
Adkins viewed the Canaries’ late leveller at Everton as further proof his free-scoring side will have to be at their creative best to penetrate Chris Hughton’s well-drilled squad.
“They are a team in form,” he said. “Everton is a tough place and they have gone there and scored in the 90th minute from a free-kick so we know they are going to be a threat from a set-piece point of view.
“They are a good side. Chris normally sets his side up with a good, solid foundation defensively. That has been evident in the lack of goals they have conceded of late so we know the crowd at St Mary’s will have to stay with us and be patient. We are going to have to move the ball quickly to try and break them down, but obviously we have to be mindful they are strong on the counter-attack.”
Adkins believes Hughton’s success in Norfolk is partly attributable to bringing his trusted backroom team from Birmingham in the summer.
“You look at Chris and his management group, with Colin Calderwood, and they were together at Newcastle and then at Birmingham so those members of staff come as a unit,” he told the club’s official site. “Chris is good manager; an experienced manager now. They have gone into a football club, similar to ourselves which achieved two back-to-back promotions, and they did ever so well to stay up last season.
“They also have a similar group of players; mostly young, hungry, English lads who had played in the Championship. It was probably difficult for them to go out and get more experienced players because of the wage demands required in the Premier League.”
Adkins’ newly-promoted squad have shown similarly encouraging signs with back-to-back Premier League victories over QPR and Newcastle after an unsteady start to the season.
“It is about getting acclimatised to the level you are at. We jumped up another level and the players had to get accustomed to that. They have done it ever so well,” he said.
“I always talked about looking at the lessons learnt after games, and the players by their performances have demonstrated how quickly they have learned. I suppose you go back to the second half performance at home when we really put Tottenham to the sword, but the result was not the right one. The performances have been good. The players are in good spirits, as they have been for a long period of time. We have got the momentum going and we have to now try to keep that with us. We’re in a good vein of form, there is a confidence running through the team and I thought we thoroughly deserved the victory against Newcastle.”