Adkins ready for challenge

  • Last Updated: August 5 2012, 10:44 BST

Southampton boss Nigel Adkins insists playing in the Premier League will hold no fear for his side and is confident they can stay up.

Nigel Adkins: In confident mood

The Saints have secured back-to-back promotions from League One to the Premier League under Adkins after emerging from administration.

Southampton are amongst the favourites to go straight back down to the Championship, but Adkins is excited about the challenge facing his side and is hopeful they can make a mark in the top flight.

"Everybody should be looking forward to it, enjoying it," Adkins told The Independent on Sunday.

"People questioned [striker] Rickie Lambert before last season, his first in the Championship, and look how well he did. You have to have belief, go and grasp the opportunity that we have worked very hard to get.

"You know you are going to play against teams and players who are better, so you have to be as smart as you can be to deal with that, try to play the game on your terms and not theirs.

"Not everyone was expecting us to do as well as we did in the Championship, but we were in the top two the whole season - on merit. Yes, we are going to the next level, but there is a stability here that should give us strength. You can't underestimate team spirit."

"We have to go into the Premier League with the belief that we can be strong in it. Aiming for 17th place is wrong. If you just fall short of it, there is a consequence. Aim higher, and if you fall short of that you've done all right."