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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Adkins backed by Southampton board

Nigel Adkins has been given a vote of confidence to remain as Southampton manager after a lengthy meeting with the club's hierarchy.

• Blog: Where do we go from here?

Rumours circulated on Tuesday afternoon that Adkins was about to be sacked after he was summoned to crisis talks following his side's dreadful start to the Premier League season, which culminated in a 2-0 defeat against West Browmich Albion on Monday night.

Chairman Nicola Cortese's reputation for demanding excellence from his employees led most observers to believe Adkins' tenure as Saints manager was about to come to an end, but he has been allowed to continue in his post and will lead the team into Saturday's Premier League game against Swansea.

Southampton sit bottom of the Premier League with just one win and four points from their opening 10 matches after Adkins led the club to back-to-back promotions over the last couple of seasons.

Suggestions that the south coast club would turn to a 'big name' manager in a bid to find their feet in the Premier League have been put on hold for now, but it is clear that Adkins needs positive results against Swansea and fellow strugglers QPR at Loftus Road later this month.

The beleaguered Saints manager said after his side's latest defeat at the Hawthorns on Monday night that he was favourite to be the first Premier League manager to be sacked this season, but he has been given a reprieve for now.

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