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The manager guided the South coast club to successive promotions but looks to the Uruguayan attacking midfielder to relieve the pressure after seven defeats from nine league games

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins has highlighted the return of attacker Gaston Ramirez as a source of optimism ahead of Monday’s trip to West Brom following his team's poor run of results.

The Uruguay international signed for a club record fee from Italian side Bologna and scored his first goal for the club in only his second league start, but has been out of action for a month due to a dead leg suffered in training.

Adkins hoped the 21-year-old could feature on Monday and told reporters: "A big plus is that Ramirez has trained well this week and we would like to think he will be included.

"He's a smashing little man and a quality footballer. He doesn't know the language but he knows football. Gaston's given us a boost.

"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."

Following consecutive promotions, the Saints have lost seven of their nine matches so far in the Premier League and occupy bottom spot having conceded 26 goals in just nine matches.

The manager accepted the need to start getting positive results but remained confident in the side's ability to improve, and commented: "I want to be manager here for as long as possible but what will be, will be. If you want to remain in your job you have to win games.

"I was odds-on favourite to be the first manager sacked even before a ball had been kicked so nothing has changed.

"This is my biggest challenge  in football and I am loving every minute of it. At times like this you have to face up to things man on.

"At the moment the supporters are still with us, the players are still with us and I am still with them.

"West Brom have a good record at home - they are a solid side who are very good on the counter attack.

"They have been in the Premier League before having yo-yoed a little bit but they look a very well run, well-managed football club.

"They have a way of playing which suits them, they have a good manager there and some good football players."

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