Southampton back in the top flights - Saints crush Coventry

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins is already planning for next season after the Saints promotion bid ended in glory on Saturday.

A convincing four goal triumph over Coventry means that Southampton sealed back to back promotions and Adkins has started work.

"We are always looking at the evolution of the squad. Next season we will need a certain calibre of player.""

We are working diligently to find players who will improve us and who are better than the ones we have.

"It is natural evolution and we will work hard in the summer to improve the squad. But it's a fantastic achievement and, when the fixtures come out, that is when it will really sink in.

"A lot of people have put a lot of hard work in here - the players deserve all the plaudits they'll get. Everyone at this club has worked their socks off since I've been here.

"Southampton are back in the Premier League and I'm a happy man - I'm proud and honoured."

Midfielder Dean Hammond is thrilled with how the campaign has worked out for the Saints.

"We worked so hard this season, we deserve this - it's an amazing feeling. What a group of lads. I'm close to tears. To do it here in front of our home fans is amazing.

"Everyone wants to play in the Premier League and now we've got a chance to do it. At the start of the season nobody believed we could do it. We did and now we are celebrating promotion. I'm so happy."

Kelvin Davies, one of Southampton's more experienced performers, cannot wait to sample life in the top flight again.

"It's unreal. It's been a fantastic, fantastic season. As players, we've played a style of football we've enjoyed playing. We played it again and it got us four goals and a clean sheet."

"The manager has done brilliantly since he's been here. He's very calm, very collected, and his preparation is second to none.

"He lets the lads manage themselves as well, we've all got a voice and if we've got something to say we can say it. He's a good communicator. He deserves everything he gets."

"It's the top division, it's where we all want to play and try our skills and see if we can deal with it.

"I for one feel like I have unfinished business in there, and my message to the lads is just to grasp the opportunity."

Middlesbrough's defeat at Watford ensured Cardiff City qualified for a play/off semi-final tussle with West Ham United, while Blackpool face Birmingham City in the other tie.

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