2011/12 Season Preview: Southampton
Gaffer: Former Scunthorpe boss, Nigel Adkins. Despite only taking over at St Mary`s last season following the early sacking of Alan Pardew the former Iron physio turned gaffer guided the Saints comfortably back to the second-tier at the first-time of asking.
Position 10/11: 2nd in League One. Southampton did as they were expected to, returning to the Championship after a brief absence of two seasons.
In:Jack Cork (Chelsea, undisc.) and Steve De Ridder (De Graafschap, undisc.).
Out: Oscar Gobern (Huddersfield Town, undisc.) and Anthony Pulis (Released).
Star Man: Forward Rickie Lambert, who has a touch of the Grant Holt`s about him. Hardly lean, but definitely mean, the £1m paid to Bristol Rovers two season ago to bring the Scouse forward south looks ridiculously good business with 51 goals from 90 Saints appearances to date.
Best Business: Bringing culture midfielder Jack Cork to the club from Chelsea looks a sterling piece of work from Adkins.
The son of crazy-gang F.A Cup winning side, Alan, Cork Jnr, has great vision, touch and a good passing range and will add class to the South Coast outfit`s midfield.
Prediction: In the Play-off hunt. As mentioned multiple times in these previews, there are some excellent sides in the Championship this year and I fully expect Southampton to be one of those chasing a top-six spot.