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From Reading with Love?

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This script was waiting to be written from the moment Nigel Adkins was cruelly relieved of his duties by Nicola Cortese back in January. The fan-favourite manager, defecting to our main rivals from last season after his sacking and his first home game in charge coming against the club that rewarded him so poorly for the success he brought them.

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Guess who's playing host this weekend.....

Nigel Adkins is not a perfect manager, some of his substitutions earlier this year were bizarre, we dropped points in extremely frustrating style and looked at times to be tactically naive. He had however turned things around. After taking us to 15th in the league after our defeat of Aston Villa at Villa Park he had shown that he could cut it in the Premier League. I was quite happy to overlook his weaknesses and give him at least a year to prove his worth as a Southampton Premier League manager. Nicola Cortese, our ever controversial chairman obviously couldn't overlook the weaknesses we had all observed. His sacking remains a personal sore point and I hope we never treat a manager with that indignity ever again.

In Nigel's position, how would you feel? His comments after our promotion back to the Premier League last April were highlighted as quite odd, 'all good things come to an end,' he reflected just minutes after the final whistle. He had fulfilled his role in Cortese's project, did Nigel know that he was not in-line to take the club even further? Did he not expect to get the chance?

In his position I would be burning with desire to prove Nicola Cortese wrong, and where better to do it then at the Club who pipped us to the Championship title last season? Reading's form last spring was not in the script as far as we were concerned and unqualified rumours that Nicola Cortese was furious over missing out on winning the league surfaced at the time. Nigel Adkins is on the surface quietly spoken, jovial and charming, our success under him does however provide proof of his drive, professionalism and ambition. He will want to succeed, win and be vindicated. He will be single minded in pursuing our downfall on Saturday.

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The King is dead.........

Reading have, for me, taken on the best young manager in English Football, a man who may have had the rug torn from under him just when he was proving his ultimate worth but a man who should see them safely promoted back to the top flight next season. He will need time to get the team playing as he wants, changing from Brian McDermott's effective and efficient style that served them well in the second tier but not in the first.

In his first press conference as Reading Manager Nigel Adkins showed his class in thanking the Staff, Players and Fans at Southampton for the support he received during his time with us. Such niceties are now however redundant, make no mistake. Mauricio Pochettino has impressed since taking over from Nigel Adkins but should be under no illusions going into the game this weekend. His predecessor is a man on a mission. He's coming for us.

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Updated 03-04-2013 at 09:54 PM by Colinjb