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Adkins eyes Villa scalp
Sep 17, 2012 7:08 PM GMT
Southampton were handed a tough start to their return to the top flight, having played Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal inside the opening four rounds.
Although they put in respectable displays against both Manchester clubs, a poor performance against Wigan at home resulted in another loss before being thumped 6-1 by the Gunners at the weekend.
But Nigel Adkins is confident they will bounce back strongly against Paul Lambert's men.
"It was a very poor scoreline having come away from home," the 47-year-old told Saints Player.
"Everyone knew that the first four fixtures were going to be challenging, but we want to win games of football. We'll have a good week's training and get everyone together – there are no hiding places so we'll stand up and be counted.
"We've got some good additions who have come and joined us, and we are a very positive football club. St Mary's will be bouncing next week because it's a game we've obviously got to go and win."
Record signing Gaston Ramirez, signed from Bologna for a reported 12 million pounds, was singled out from praise by his new manager.
Adkins revealed the Uruguay international had only participated in one training session with his new team-mates since returning from international duty.
"Gaston Ramirez came on having been in Uruguay and only trained with us for the first time last night, but you could see the players' eyes light up with the things he was doing in training," Adkins said.
"That was really pleasing because he did ever-so-well. He's got undoubted ability and a wand of left foot - he can pick out a pass and has an eye for goal."