Adkins focusing on the Saints
Southampton boss Nigel Adkins is keen for his side to maintain their own identity in the Barclays Premier League and not try to emulate any other clubs.
West Brom - Southampton's opponents on Monday night - are a perfect example of a team that have come up from the Championship and now appear settled in the top flight but, although Adkins praised Steve Clarke's side, he stopped short of wishing Southampton could copy the Hawthorns' model of survival.
"They have a way of playing which suits them, they have a good manager there and some good football players," he said. "There is a great vision here at Southampton Football Club and what we have got to do is concentrate on what we do - a lot of other clubs can be highlighted but we need to focus on ourselves."
Adkins has guided the Saints to back-to-back promotions but the team have struggled since reaching the Premier League.
The former Scunthorpe manager remains happy with the set-up of the club off the field and is still enjoying the on-field battle to stay in the division.
He said: "We are financially well-run, and you can see with all of the building work that is going on all the time and the recruitment of players that investment coming in."
Southampton spent big in the summer on their return to the Premier League, breaking their transfer record twice in a matter of months.
Jay Rodriguez was signed from Burnley for a reported £7million before Uruguayan playmaker Gaston Ramirez was brought in for closer to £12million on transfer deadline day.
Neither player has really found their feet in the Southampton side as yet with former Bologna star Ramirez missing the past couple of weeks with a thigh injury. But the 21-year-old could make a timely return from injury in time for the clash with West Brom and Adkins is pleased with the number of players now making their way back to full fitness.
"A big plus for us is that Gaston Ramirez, our record signing, is back training well this week and we would like to think that he will be included on Monday evening," he said. "We have a number of players returning from injury now and we can look forward with confidence and embrace the challenge that we are faced with."
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