Players back Adkins - Lallana

  • Last Updated: November 3 2012, 13:57 GMT

Under-fire Southampton manager Nigel Adkins has the full support of the Saints squad, according to their captain Adam Lallana.

Adam Lallana: Backing the boss

Adkins' future has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks as the club struggles to adapt to life in the Barclays Premier League after two successive promotions.

The Saints travel to West Brom on Monday night still searching for their first Barclays Premier League win of the season but Lallana, who was handed the captain's armband by Adkins in the summer, has revealed the team are firmly behind their manager.

"It comes and goes, speculation," he said.

"Whatever team is in the bottom three their manager will be under pressure, or at least the media will think that.

"There has been speculation since the start of the season about who was going to be the manager and ifs and buts, as a player you just get on with it and do as best as you can, not just for yourself and the team but for the manager as well.

"He (Adkins) got back-to-back promotions so has got to be given great credit for what he has done already and we all respect that."

The 24-year-old Lallana made his debut for Southampton under George Burley in 2006.

When Burley departed in January 2008 the club went through another six managers, including caretaker bosses, until Adkins was appointed just over two years ago.

When asked what it was like to lose a manager Lallana said: "It is not too nice when it happens.

"At the minute and hopefully for the foreseeable future Nigel is the boss and I hope it stays that way."

Lallana, who was called into the senior England squad for the first time ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine in September, is relishing being the skipper of the side - even during such trying times.

"I just take it in my stride really, it is my first season of being captain and I don't really know what to expect," he said.

"We have had a tough start but I'm just trying to embrace it really because there aren't many 24-year-olds who are captain of a Premier League team and I just want to enjoy every minute of it."

Lallana scored his first Premier League goal as the Saints were thumped 4-1 at West Ham two weeks ago and he reckons the captaincy has had a positive affect.

"Maybe I have had to grow up a bit quicker and be a bit more mature if you like," he said.

"Being captain you have got to be a role model for not only for the young players but for all of your team-mates.

"I feel we have got quite a few experienced lads in the dressing room and they help me out as well, it hasn't changed me in any way but I'm really proud to be the captain and to have been given that responsibility by the manager."

The former England Under-21 international has been a cornerstone of the success at St Mary's over the past couple of seasons and admits the atmosphere has altered since the wins have become more sporadic.

"It is obviously different because we are not winning games consistently which is what we were doing two years ago," he said.

"We are just focusing on the basics and as we all know back-to-back wins or a win and a good away performance can change the form around and people will be talking about other things."

Lallana has been impressed with the start West Brom have made to the season under new head coach Steve Clarke and believes the Baggies can feel aggrieved they are not higher than eighth in the table.

"They have been in the Premier League now for three or four years, I remember playing them before they got promoted," said Lallana.

"I'm not surprised at all, they have got a new manager and have started the season well and were quite unfortunate to lose against Man City due to a stoppage time goal.

"They did well away at Newcastle and conceded in the final few minutes again so they are probably looking at it and thinking they could be even higher in the league."


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