Adkins hails Ferguson's achievements

Southampton boss Nigel Adkins believes he will be going up against a 'one-off' when his side take on Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United on Sunday.

Football News: Sir Alex Ferguson

The match between the two clubs will be Ferguson's 1000th league game in charge of the Red Devils, with the 70-year-old collecting no fewer than 37 major trophies during his time at Old Trafford.

Adkins, 47, reckons a managerial spell like Ferguson's will never be seen again in the modern era.

"I think it is going to be a one-off when you look at it realistically," he said.

"Demands are placed in the modern game now for someone to stay at a football club for so long.

"But if you look at the success they have had and the stability it has provided - the successful clubs probably have a consistent basis so maybe it is possible and that is the way to go."

Ferguson and Adkins have previously spoken about how to remain at a club for a long time and the former Scunthorpe manager revealed it has to be the ambition of every manager to attempt to replicate such success.

He said: "I had a good conversation with him a few years ago and I asked him about the longevity of management and it was 'move with the times' and if you surround yourself with younger people you probably act a bit younger as well. I think he is a great example of how to do things.

"I think when you go into something you have got to strive to be the best and keep improving.

"Obviously at the time you think it is a long way away and very unrealistic I suppose for a Premier League club to go and bring a young manager in.

"So the only way you are going to get there is to get a club promoted and we are delighted we have been able to do that at Southampton."

The Saints have been busy in the transfer market and have brought in the likes of Japan's Maya Yoshida and Emmanuel Mayuka from Zambia.

Adkins reckons the lure of the Premier League means foreign imports are inevitable but that they can help the progression of young, English talent rather than stunt it.

He said: "I'm as English as they come and you want to see the English talent coming through, all being well we have some really good youngsters coming through the system here.

"We talk about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who came through our youth system and will be a shining light for the national team.

"We want to be competitive and we want to be up there but we want to bring our youngsters through and if it means we bring in someone from Japan or Uruguay or Italy that will enhance our group of players then brilliant.

"The Barclays Premier League is the biggest one in the world and the richest one in the world and especially now with the media input we have got - it is a global game, a fantastic game.

"I believe we have a great brand here at Southampton everything we are doing, not just on the pitch but off the pitch, is growing.

"We talk about Japanese players or Uruguayan players we have brought Nathaniel (Clyne) in who is an England Under-21 international, we brought Jay Rodriguez in who is English.

"We have several English players at the football club - it is a global market and player we can identify who will enhance what we have got, young, hungry and dynamic players is an important aspect of what we are trying to do."



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