Patience is the key, says Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup
MICHAEL Laudrup went from the brink of the sack to the edge of glory during his time in charge at Getafe.
It is unsurprising, therefore, that he believes Southampton should have faith in Nigel Adkins.
The Saints manager is clinging to his job ahead of Swansea City's visit to St Mary's. And while Laudrup hopes to heap misery on Adkins this weekend, he hopes the former Scunthorpe boss will be given time to get Southampton out of the relegation zone.
"I remember when I was at Getafe," Laudrup said. "We started the season playing well but we couldn't score. After seven games we had two points in the league and everyone said 'Well, he must be out'.
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"Then suddenly we won a game, then in midweek we had a game against Tottenham away and we won that as well.
"Then we had a cup game which we won. We lost then in the league but we won two more games and beat Barcelona at home. At the end of that season we got to the Spanish Cup final and the quarter-final in Europe against Bayern Munich.
"With two or three rounds of the league season to go we were safe. It was the best ever season for Getafe and yet it had started so poorly. It shows that it's not always how it starts, it's how it ends."
Laudrup is adamant that it is far too early in the season to condemn Southampton to relegation.
Some have done so on the back of their awful start — Adkins's men have won once in ten league games — but Laudrup has done his research since he got the Swansea job.
"There are still 28 games to go," he pointed out.
"I looked at last season. Wigan had six points after 12 games, West Brom one won and lost four of their first five and ended up in tenth. Look at Swansea too — their first away win came after New Year.
"If you win two games, suddenly things can change for you in this league, and that can happen for Southampton.
"I don't want to see any manager lose his job and of course I have sympathy for Nigel Adkins because he is a colleague.
"But we all have times when things are not going as well as we would — that's part of this job.
"We know that when things are going well it's because of the players and manager, but when they are not so good it's just the manager.
"I wish him (Adkins) the best, but only after this weekend."
Laudrup reckons it does not require "a rocket scientist" to realise that the bottom three are desperate for points after Aston Villa and Wigan chalked up shock victories last Saturday. And he believes Southampton's players will be motivated by a desire to support their boss.
"They will really want to win for him," Laudrup said.
"If he goes and another manager comes in, you never know what happens to you as a player. And they are all aware that if they end up back in the Championship, their whole life changes.
"We are going to be playing a team who could not be more motivated, and we have to match that. If we play with same focus and concentration as them, I am sure we have the quality to get something there, whether it is one point or three."