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Saints set for Adkins reunion


Mauricio Pochettino wants Southampton to continue their recent momentum

Mauricio Pochettino wants Southampton to continue their recent momentum

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Mauricio Pochettino wants Southampton to continue their recent momentum

Southampton face former manager Nigel Adkins on Saturday brimming with confidence, although successor Mauricio Pochettino will not allow complacency to sneak in at Reading.

Just 78 days after being sacked by Saints, Adkins will go head-to-head with his replacement in his first home game at the Royals helm. Anything but victory for bottom-placed Reading would be a major blow to any remaining hopes they have of staving off relegation back to the second tier.

Saints, meanwhile, are in a comfortable-looking 12th place after back-to-back wins and Adkins has even suggested his former club could finish in the top 10 but Pochettino insists his side will not be getting carried away. "In football to have confidence is really important," the Argentinian said

"Yeah, we are really confident after those wins but it is equally important to maintain a focus and we need to be mentally focused for the games ahead. It also happens in football than when you become overconfident you start to lose games so as well as being confident, we need to be mentally focused.

"We need to focus and we need to maintain how we felt against Chelsea and Liverpool before facing them. We felt really motivated, really confident so we need to keep that mental preparation.

"But I do think against Reading we are going to face a really tough opponent so we have been warned that we really need to be mentally focused and confident at the same time."

Southampton's chances of a victory at the Madejski Stadium have been boosted by the news that Artur Boruc and Adam Lallana should be fit after a virus and groin problem, respectively.

January signing Vegard Forren will be hoping get his first taste of action, although the likelihood of Emmanuel Mayuka getting a run out looks slim. While Norway international Forren has missed out to date due to a lack of match sharpness, Pochettino suggested Mayuka, a summer signing from Young Boys, need to buck up his ideas.

"It is clear that under me he has not played," he said.

"I haven't played him yet. There are other players available that have played so it just shows that he still needs to work to be able to get into the squad."

PA Media