• Premier League

Adkins set to seal Reading job

ESPN staff
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Nigel Adkins will make a swift return to football © PA Photos
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Reading are set to appoint Nigel Adkins as their new manager just two months after he was sacked by fellow Premier League strugglers Southampton, ESPN understands.

Adkins led Saints to back-to-back promotions as they returned to the top flight after a seven-year absence last May but he was axed in January, with Mauricio Pochettino taking his place in the St Mary's hotseat in a move that was widely condemned.

But the former Scunthorpe United boss is now set for a second crack at Premier League management after agreeing to join Reading, who parted company with Brian McDermott two weeks ago.

The Royals' move to appoint Adkins as manager will be popular among the club's supporters, who had identified him among their favourites to succeed McDermott at the Madejski Stadium.

However, Adkins is clearly second choice for the Berkshire club after their attempts to hire Brighton boss Guy Poyet fell through last week and he faces a race against time to revive a flagging Royals outfit.

Adkins faces a tough task to keep Reading in the Premier League as they currently sit one place off the foot of the table eight games from the end of the season, with Adkins set for a baptism of fire in his first two games in charge.

Next weekend's daunting trip to face a revived Arsenal at Emirates Stadium will be a prelude to a reunion with his former Southampton players in what is set to be his first home game in charge of Reading on April 6.

Bookmakers give Adkins little hope of saving Reading from the drop, with the Royals listed by most as favourites for relegation after losing their last six games in all competitions.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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