Fans warn of protest over Adkins sacking
ReutersLONDON--Argentine Mauricio Pochettino inherits a Southampton squad in shock and a fan-base in revolt after replacing Nigel Adkins as manager of the Premier League club.
January 20, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
Supporters of the south coast side say the former Espanyol boss can expect a fans' protest in his first match in charge, at home to Everton on Monday, as they express disgust at the sacking of a man who led Saints to back-to-back promotions.
Adkins was shown the door by Executive Chairman Nicola Cortese on Friday despite a barnstorming draw at European champions Chelsea midweek, and a victory at Aston Villa last weekend.
Fans are being urged to wave white handkerchiefs at St Mary's Stadium to draw attention to their anger.
“As Spanish supporters wave white hankies as a form of protest it seems an appropriate way to protest at Nicola Cortese's ruthless treatment of Nigel Adkins,” Perry McMillan of the Southampton Independent Supporters Association said.
“It's important we send out this message and as this match is live on TV and will be seen throughout Europe, it's a great opportunity to show how we feel.
“When you think about how hard he (Adkins) worked to get us into the Premier League, this leaves a bitter taste,” he told Southampton's local newspaper The Daily Echo.
After a shaky start to the season in which they lost eight of their first 10 Premier League matches, Saints have suffered only two defeats in their last 10 league outings.
But it proved too little too late as Cortese swung the axe, saying a new man was needed given the long-term ambitions of the club.
Adkins reportedly left the club in tears, and his backroom staff were dismissed with him. Southampton had won 54 percent of their matches under Adkins — a better record than any Saints manager in more than 100 years.
That figure, though, is massaged by those games in the second and third tiers in which Adkins won promotion.