Adkins eyeing piece of history

  • Last Updated: March 28 2013, 18:19 GMT

Nigel Adkins is hoping a message of support from his mum comes true and he can make history to keep Reading in the Barclays Premier League.

Nigel Adkins: Looking to keep Reading up
Nigel Adkins: Looking to keep Reading up

The 48-year-old has made a swift return to management following his surprise sacking by Southampton to take over from Brian McDermott, whose own departure drew criticism after he helped guide the Royals to the npower Championship title last season ahead of Adkins' former team.

No club who have wielded the axe so late in the campaign have saved themselves from the drop.

However, despite Reading being seven points adrift heading into their final eight games, which start at Arsenal on Saturday, Adkins is not about to take heed of the doom mongers just yet.

"My mum said to me the other day, 'I have heard something about that (relegation), but you know what, it just occurs you seem to be making history at whichever club you have been at,' so maybe this is the next one to do it at," said Adkins.

"We are in the Premier League and we want to remain here. Everyone has worked extremely hard to get in this position.

"We have to be efficient in everything we do to give us a chance to win games."

Adkins has been busy since leaving Southampton, doing everything from a goalkeeping course with Edwin van der Sar to having dinner with England rugby World Cup winner Jonny Wilkinson.

The former Scunthorpe physio, though, is now fully focused on getting down to some hard work on the training pitch with his new employers.

"I have had a lot of good meetings with people at the football club, and a good team meeting with the players this morning, so they are well aware of what we are looking for," said Adkins, who has signed a deal at the Madejski Stadium until 2016,

"We have a good team spirit here, there are a lot of good things which have gone on in the past, so now we have to keep moving forwards.

"You can see the camaraderie and spirit. There is an inner-belief. We have to galvanise ourselves for an eight-game season now.

"We have implemented a few things on the training ground, it is going to take a period of time, you cant changes things straight away.

"You have to know how to get the best out of the players, to keep driving them.

"We want the lads to pass the football, and also keep doing what has been done well here.

"We have got to be together, and everything was very positive.

"It is about slowly introducing things, you cannot overload players totally, but the mindset is we have a great game at the weekend against Arsenal and we have to have the right mentality to win."

Jamaica trio Garath McCleary, Adrian Mariappa and Jobi McAnuff have now returned from international duty and will train with the rest of the group ahead of Saturday's game.

Former Arsenal trainee Stuart Taylor could again deputise for injured goalkeeper Adam Federici, while attacking-midfielder Jimmy Kebe continues to battle against a groin problem.

Striker Pavel Pogrebnyak has now completed his three-game ban, so will be available against the Gunners.


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