Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Adkins focused on the future

Nigel Adkins is keen to move on from his Southampton tenure

Nigel Adkins was keen to draw a line under the past after being appointed as Reading's new manager on Tuesday morning.

The 48-year-old has signed a contract until summer 2016 to replace Brian McDermott at the Madjeski Stadium. He was surprisingly sacked by Southampton in January despite securing back-to-back promotions. Reading are in a more perilous situation than Saints - they are second bottom and seven points shy of safety - but meet Adkins' old club in his second game.

A trip to Arsenal comes first, though, and Adkins wants to forget about the past. He said: "I've not made any comments since I left Southampton and I want to take the opportunity to thank all the people there. I thank the fans, the players and supporters. We were on a fantastic journey but we have to move on now."

Adkins added: "I am pleased to be the Reading manager. We will take it one game at a time and try and keep this club in the Premier League. It's a good club, I've been impressed with them and I've always known what sort of club it is. We're in the Premier League and we want to stay there. I am excited."

Many had sympathy with Adkins after the way he was treated at Southampton and it is typical of how things fall that they will be his second opponent. Survival, however, is Adkins' primary focus.

"I can't talk about Southampton as it's in the hands of the League Managers' Association," he added.

"I am looking to the future, I've had two months out and gone around Europe, I'm excited about the future and passionate about playing football."

Reports had suggested Brighton's Gus Poyet was Reading's top target with Adkins not thought to be interested.

He addressed that, though, saying: "When it happened with Brian I was in Germany and Reading wasn't on the agenda at the time.

"We're now looking forward to the next stage together."