Soton fires Adkins after two promotions

Soton fires Adkins after two promotions

Southampton sacked manager Nigel Adkins on Jan. 18 and replaced him with Mauricio Pochettino in a surprise move that came just as its Premier League results were starting to improve.

The dismissal comes two days after Saints fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with European champions Chelsea as part of a turnaround in fortunes in a run where they have lost just twice in their last 12 Premier League games.

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was among those to raise eyebrows at the decision, saying it was a “crazy world,” while others questioned whether Pochettino was the right man for the job having never coached in England.

“This decision has been made with the long-term ambitions of Southampton Football Club in mind,” executive chairman Nicola Cortese said in a statement on the club’s website “Whilst we acknowledge the contribution Nigel has made during the past two years, for the club to progress and achieve our long-term targets a change was needed.”

Adkins, 47, joined the south-coast club in 2010 and oversaw back-to-back promotions from League One and then the Championship to take them back to the top-flight for the first time since its 2005 relegation.

“I think everybody will be taken aback by it all,” former Southampton captain Matt Le Tissier said. “The club seemed to have come to terms with life in the Premier League, it was a tough start but they then turned things around pretty well.”