Adkins erased from Saints' history as Pochettino takes over

Jan 22, 2013
Bill Mann

No reference in match programme to the man who took Southampton into Premier League

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Southampton 0 Everton 0. Three days after being unceremoniously sacked by Southampton, former manager Nigel Adkins has been erased from the club's history. The match programme for Monday night's visit of Everton to St Mary's contained no reference to Adkins, the man who led the Saints from League One to the Premier League before being shown the door by chairman Nicola Cortese on Friday morning.

It was as if Adkins had never existed, though unfortunately for Cortese plenty of Southampton fans brandished placards on which were messages of support for the unemployed manager. There were also intermittent chants of 'There's only one Nigel Adkins' and 'We love you Nigel, we do', but what there wasn't was any booing aimed at the new man at the helm. Instead the Southampton fans gave Mauricio Pochettino a warm hand as he took his seat in the dugout prior to kick-off.

"I want to thank the supporters for the very kind reception they have given me, it was amazing," said Pochettino, with the help of an interpreter. Asked what he thought about the airbrushing of Adkins from the programme, the Argentine replied: "After just two or three days in Southampton, I really don't have anything to do with that."

Southampton began the brighter of the two sides and Rickie Lambert almost gave them the lead on 20 minutes when his free-kick hit the post. Minutes later he had a header cleared off the line by Nikica Jelavic and Everton were relieved to go into the break on level terms.

The visitors were vastly improved in the second half as they chased the three points that would keep them well in contention in the race to finish fourth. The best chance fell to Jelavic but the Croatian miscued his kick with the goal at his mercy.

Everton manager David Moyes later described his side's first half performance as the "poorest 45 minutes of the season", although he also praised the display of Southampton.

The Toffees remain fifth, three points behind Spurs and four clear of Arsenal, though the Gunners have a game in hand.

Southampton are still hovering close to the relegation zone and Pochettino's next challenge is altogether more daunting – a trip to Old Trafford on Wednesday week to face league leaders Manchester United. "I credit the previous manager for the work he did here," Pochettino told reporters, "but now I really want to focus on my tenure here and the future of the club here under me, and the goals we've set out to achieve."

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