Adkins ready for scrap

  • Last Updated: April 5 2013, 17:11 BST

Reading manager Nigel Adkins vowed the Royals will battle for their Barclays Premier League lives against Southampton.

Nigel Adkins: New Reading manager
Nigel Adkins: New Reading manager

Adkins has taken charge of a side that are bottom of the table, seven points adrift of safety and on a run of seven consecutive defeats.

In a twist of fate, Adkins' first home match as Reading manager will be against his former club.

He believes that victory over Southampton at the Madejski Stadium could be just the catalyst Reading need to pull off a great escape.

"You won't be in our dressing room if you think it is a lost cause," he said.

"The opposition are in a good vein of form but we are at home. We have to get the three points at the weekend. It is very close down there. We need to get some victories under our belt.

"These are the two teams that finished first and second in the Championship last season. There were some good games last season, it was a good game this year at St Mary's.

"You have to have a good home record. It is very important and there is an inner belief that we can win our games (at the Madejski Stadium)."

Adkins has predicted Southampton will finish in the top 10 but he will know the squad better than his successor Mauricio Pochettino, having enjoyed back-to-back promotions at the club.

"Our players will be be well versed on what will be required," Adkins said.

"With every opposition team, every player in the opposition is a threat. 'Never underestimate your opponent' that is in Sun Tzu's Art of War.

"That's something we've always talked about.

"We've got to be passionate about what we do. We've always preached about keeping possession of the football, but when the opposition have the ball you've got to put them under enough pressure so you can get the ball back off them.

"The players, I like to think, will be organised for the weekend."

Jimmy Kebe has been ruled out of the game as he continues to recover from a groin problem but otherwise Adkins reported a fully-fit squad.

Adkins must decide who to start in goal. Adam Federici and Alex McCarthy are both looking to claim the goalkeeper's jersey from Stuart Taylor after overcoming ankle and shoulder injuries respectively.

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