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Jan 19, 2013

Moyes 'very surprised' by Adkins axe

Everton manager David Moyes is concerned that Southampton's decision to sack Nigel Adkins is a sign of a short-term culture in football.

• Rann: Chewing over the Toffees
• Pochettino keen to win over fans

Moyes, whose side visit St Mary's in the Premier League on Monday night, admitted that he was very surprised to see Adkins replaced by Mauricio Pochettino on Friday.

Adkins had guided Southampton from League One to the top flight in successive seasons, and has pulled them clear of the relegation zone in the Premier League and left them in 15th place after a 2-2 draw at Chelsea on Wednesday night.

But that still was not enough to save his job, which came as a major surprise to Moyes, whose 11 years of service at Goodison Park make him the third-longest serving current club manager in English professional football, behind only Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsenal's Arsene Wenger.

He said: "Unfortunately, that's probably the football world we're in. I'm not saying it's right, and I'm not willing to just brush it aside, but I'm saying it because that's the way it looks just now.

"I'm really fortunate, and if you look at some of the clubs who've kept their managers for longer periods, it's tended to work better than continually changing."

Asked why he thought some clubs were trigger-happy with their managers, Moyes said: "You would need to ask the new chairmen who have come into the game. They're the people who feel that's right.

"I don't know the business at Southampton. Maybe there are other reasons for it. But from a distance, I think Nigel Adkins has done a really good job. I'm a football guy who knows a lot about football, watches football, looks at managers, sees how they're doing, and Nigel's done a good job.

"If there's something gone on behind the scenes that I don't know about, then I'm not privy to that."

Moyes had certainly been expecting to see Adkins in the opposing technical area at Southampton on Monday.

He said: "I was very surprised. I was actually just talking to my staff during the week and complimenting Nigel Adkins on how well he'd done. It was always going to be difficult after two promotions. It's a long way up.

"He'd got them out of the bottom three, and it looked as though they were moving up. I don't think many people would have been looking at Nigel Adkins as a manager about to be sacked. I thought he'd done a really good job."

Moyes praised his own chairman Bill Kenwright and Everton's board for showing far more willingness to stand by a manager.

He added: "If they got somebody in, they would give them every encouragement to try to do the job in the right way. They would back them to the best of their ability, and I think as long as you're doing the work and trying to progress, Everton would be more than happy with that."

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