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The Southampton boss believes his side will be full of confidence following their narrow defeat to champions Manchester City and expects a home crowd to buoy the Saints

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins is relishing making a return to St Mary's for his side's first home game of the season against Wigan.

The Premier League new boys gave a respectable showing upon their return to the top flight on Sunday, falling to a narrow defeat at the hands of champions Manchester City.

And Adkins is confident that the help of a partisan home crowd can inspire his side to go one better against the Latics on Saturday.

He told the official club website: “We will be buoyed by the performance of last week up at Manchester City so we will be looking forward to being back in front of a full house at St Mary’s.
 
“We play very well here and win a lot of games, so that is important that we maintain that this season.

HOME WIN
13/2 Southampton are 13/2 to beat Wigan 1-0 with Paddy Power
“It’s a very challenging division, mentally, tactically and physically I know here at St Mary’s the fans will get right behind the players.”.

Despite his excitement, the 47-year-old is wary of the threat posed by Roberto Martinez’s team, who lost 2-0 to Chelsea in their first game of the season.

He added: “Never underestimate the opposition. Roberto Martinez is a good, enthusiastic, young manager and it will be interesting to see how we do against their formation.
 
“We have done our homework on them so we know it will be a challenging encounter.”

Adkins also defended his team selection at the Etihad Stadium, after he opted to hand new signing Jay Rodriguez a start at the expense of last season's top scorer Rickie Lambert.

He continued: “Jay has played a lot of games for Burnley out wide of a front three and coming inside onto his right foot, and he scored some good goals for Burnley doing that. 

“He enjoys playing out there as well as up front so there are a couple of positions that we know he is very good at.

“I think everyone here understands that different formations, different personnel are going to be used all the way through.”

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