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Apr 4, 2013

Adkins bears no Southampton grudges

Reading manager Nigel Adkins says he has no problem with Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino, despite the Argentine replacing him at St Mary's.

• Blog: Painful watching
• Cox: Adkins renews acquaintances

Adkins, who guided the Saints to back-to-back promotions, was sacked in January, with Pochettino appointed as his successor later that month.

The former Scunthorpe boss has since taken charge at Reading and welcomes his old team to the Madejski Stadium on Saturday for his first home game since his appointment.

But despite his acrimonious departure from the Saints, Adkins insists he holds no grudges and will treat Pochettino just like any other visiting manager.

"We welcome the opposition management to the Madejski Stadium and, like every opposition team, we always invite them in for a drink afterwards, win, lose or draw. I think that is important," Adkins told Sky Sports.

"Situations happen in life and in football. I had a fantastic relationship with the supporters and everyone at Southampton but that has now gone. We had a fantastic journey there and that can never be taken away. We were with the players for two and a half years and we were very successful in that spell and we played some good football.

"The situation has happened and what we have to do is move on. You have to move forward. That is the reality. You can either dwell on the past or get on with things."

While Reading are rooted to the foot of the Premier League, Southampton sit in 12th place, and Adkins believes they are capable of breaking into the upper half of the table.

"I think they will finish in the top ten," he said. "The players there are doing ever so well. We had a lot of belief in what we would achieve this season and that is being brought out. All the players at Southampton deserve a lot of credit. It is a joy watching them play."

Adkins' priority, however, is to put a stop to Reading's run of seven consecutive defeats with a victory on Saturday, and ultimately avoid relegation to the Championship.

"You won't be in our dressing room if you think it is a lost cause," he said. "The opposition are in a good vein of form but we are at home. These are the two teams that finished first and second in the Championship last season.

"There were some good games last season. It was a good game this year at St Mary's. We have to get the three points at the weekend. It is very close down there. We need to get some victories under our belt.

"You have to have a good home record. It is very important and there is an inner belief that we can win our [four games at home]."

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