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Nigel Adkins

PUBLISHED

15:29 18th July 2013

First Team Manager

Influential manager who was appointed as Royals boss in March 2013 with assistant manager Andy Crosby.

As a player, Adkins was a goalkeeper who, after learning his trade as a schoolboy at Liverpool, began his career with local side Tranmere in 1981. He became Rovers’ youngest goalkeeper at the age of 17 played 86 times for Rovers before being sold to Wigan in 1986, where he made a total of 155 more appearances as the Latics’ number one. His playing career was hindered by a string of injuries, including a double spinal fracture.

Adkins had ambitions to become a manager from a very young age, having first coached a Sunday league side at the age of 19, leading Renbad Rovers from the fourth Division to the Premier Division of the Birkenhead Sunday League. As a manager, Adkins earned his first role as boss of League of Wales outfit Bangor City in 1993, leading the Welsh side to back-to-back title wins and a League Cup Final in his first two years at the club – helping the Citizens qualify for Europe on each occasion.

Having gained a degree in physiotherapy from the University of Salford at the end of his playing days, Adkins joined Scunthorpe United as a physiotherapist in 1996. In November 2006, he took over from manager Brian Laws at Glanford Park, handed the permanent role the following month after leading the Iron to three wins and a draw during his caretaker spell.

His brand of attractive football saw the Scunthorpe fans swiftly warm to Adkins – and results didn’t harm matters either; United lost just three matches after Adkins took over and, after an Adkins-inspired 19-game unbeaten run, they ended the 2006/7 campaign as League One champions. He had ended an absence for Scunthorpe of more than 40 years from the league's second tier.

When star striker Billy Sharp was sold for a record £2million the following season, Scunthorpe’s stay in the second tier was short-lived. But the chants from the Glanford Park stands continued to ring out and Adkins took Scunthorpe to Wembley twice the following year, once for the Football League Trophy final and secondly to take his sixth-placed side back up with a 3-2 play-off final win over Millwall in 2009. Adkins proved he was capable of a survival fight the following season, keeping Scunthorpe in the second tier, before replacing former Royals boss Alan Pardew at Southampton on 12th September 2010.

In the final two months of the 2010/11 season the Saints won 9 of their last 10 to secure automatic promotion back to the Championship with a 3-1 win at Plymouth on 2nd May 2011.

In the following season in the Championship with Southampton, he earned a successive promotion, returning the south-coasters to the top flight. They occupied a top two position from start to finish that season and sealed promotion to the Barclays Premier League with a 4-0 win over Coventry City on the final day of the season – back-to-back promotions for Adkins.

He managed the Saints in the Premier League until January 2013, when they occupied 15th position in the table.  He then subsequently joined Reading FC, also in the Premier League at the time, on 25 March, where he is contracted until the summer of 2016.

To date he has won four promotions and three league titles in his time as a manager.

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