Tuesday 23 December 2014

Adkins excited by Liverpool return

Published 29/11/2012 | 17:24

Nigel Adkins was on Liverpool's books as a youngster

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins is looking forward to returning to Merseyside this weekend and testing himself against boyhood idols Liverpool.

The Birkenhead-born Saints boss comes from a family of Reds and was a schoolboy at Anfield as a young goalkeeper.

"It will be good to go there," he said. "I was a schoolboy at Liverpool. I had the option to stay there before I decided to go to Tranmere Rovers, which was important from my career point of view."

He added: "We are obviously steeped in tradition on Merseyside: you're either red, blue or the white of Tranmere.

"You are either a Liverpool supporter or an Everton supporter, but you're always going to be a Tranmere supporter if you're from Birkenhead.

"Going to Merseyside is going to be great for everybody and great for all our supporters to go to Liverpool, a club steeped in tradition."

Adkins is one of a number at Southampton with connections to Liverpool and top scorer Rickie Lambert even has a tattoo of a Liver bird on his shoulder.

The Saints boss, who played at Anfield three times as a player, tried to downplay the personal importance of his managerial debut at the famous old ground, although admitted he has fond memories of his time there.

"This shouldn't be about me and Liverpool," he said. "It should be about Southampton, shouldn't it?"

When pushed further, he added: "Listen, I remember training with Ray Clemence, I remember saving a penalty from Graeme Souness in a practice game. You are alongside Alan Hansen and Kenny Dalglish in the small-sided games. As a kid you were just involved and joined in, which was great."

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