Adkins keen to maintain identity

  • Last Updated: November 4 2012, 13:06 GMT

Southampton boss Nigel Adkins is keen for his side to maintain their own identity in the Barclays Premier League and not try to emulate any other clubs.

Nigel Adkins: There is a great vision here at Southampton

The Saints travel to West Brom on Monday night looking to add to their one league win to date this season.

West Brom are a perfect example of a team that have come up from the Championship and now appear settled in the top flight but, although Adkins praised Steve Clarke's side, he stopped short of wishing Southampton could copy the Hawthorns' model of survival.

"West Brom have a good record at home - they are a solid side who are very good on the counter attack," he said.

"They have been in the Premier League before having yo-yoed a little bit but they look a very well run, well-managed football club.

"They have a way of playing which suits them, they have a good manager there and some good football players.

"There is a great vision here at Southampton Football Club and what we have got to do is concentrate on what we do - a lot of other clubs can be highlighted but we need to focus on ourselves."

Adkins has guided the Saints to back-to-back promotions but the team have struggled since reaching the Premier League.

The former Scunthorpe manager remains happy with the set-up of the club off the field and is still enjoying the on-field battle to stay in the division.

He said: "The stability has been here and we need everyone to stick together because we have been very successful over the past few years.

"We are financially well-run, and you can see with all of the building work that is going on all the time and the recruitment of players that investment coming in.

"It's a challenge we will embrace. We have scored in all of our games bar one so we are looking forward to it."

The Saints spent big in the summer on their return to the Premier League, breaking their transfer record twice in a matter of months.

Jay Rodriguez was signed from Burnley for a reported £7million before Uruguayan playmaker Gaston Ramirez was brought in for closer to £12million on transfer deadline day.

Neither player has really found their feet in the Southampton side as yet with former Bologna star Ramirez missing the past couple of weeks with a thigh injury.

But the 21-year-old could make a timely return from injury in time for the clash with West Brom and Adkins is pleased with the number of players now making their way back to full fitness.

"A big plus for us is that Gaston Ramirez, our record signing, is back training well this week and we would like to think that he will be included on Monday evening," he said.

"We have a number of players returning from injury now and we can look forward with confidence and embrace the challenge that we are faced with."

A fully-fit squad will give Adkins a greater chance of being able to mastermind a second league victory for the south coast club as they try and avoid being cut adrift in the relegation zone.

The 4-1 win over Aston Villa at St Mary's in September remains the Saints' only success so far and they remain five points behind Paul Lambert's side in the table after taking only a point from their next four matches.


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week