Adkins confident Southampton can handle Premier League step

Southampton boss Nigel Adkins insists they can hold their own in the Premier League.

Adkins is excited about the challenge facing his side and is hopeful they can make a mark in the top flight.

"Everybody should be looking forward to it, enjoying it," Adkins told The Independent on Sunday.

"People questioned [striker] Rickie Lambert before last season, his first in the Championship, and look how well he did. You have to have belief, go and grasp the opportunity that we have worked very hard to get.

"You know you are going to play against teams and players who are better, so you have to be as smart as you can be to deal with that, try to play the game on your terms and not theirs.

"Not everyone was expecting us to do as well as we did in the Championship, but we were in the top two the whole season - on merit. Yes, we are going to the next level, but there is a stability here that should give us strength. You can't underestimate team spirit."

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