Southampton are set to face former manager Nigel Adkins in the EFL Trophy as their B team take on Charlton Athletic on Tuesday night.
Adkins left Saints back in January 2013 but will always be remembered by the fans after guiding the club to back-to-back promotions from League One to the Premier League. He took the reins at Charlton last March after spells at Reading, Sheffield United and Hull City.
Saints’ B team have had a tough start to their season and their young side are yet to win a competitive game, although the experience of playing against senior teams like Charlton in the EFL Trophy will undoubtedly be valuable.
Dave Horseman’s team have already played Leyton Orient in the competition and will also face Crawley Town in November.
Can Southampton’s B team cause an upset against Charlton?
If Nigel Adkins’ spell at Saints was a superb success, his time with Charlton has been much harder.
They currently sit inside League One’s relegation zone after just two wins from their opening 11 league fixtures of 2021/22, although they did beat League Two side Crawley Town 6-1 in the EFL Trophy back in August.
Adkins will want to be professional and claim an important win against a team from his former club tonight but it will surely be an emotional one for the 56-year-old.
From Saints’ point of view, it is perhaps unfair to expect a victory against a senior team – especially one playing in League One where the standard of football is a step up from academy levels.
The game will be big for many Saints players, but the biggest inclusion on the teamsheet is Will Smallbone. He will be playing his first game at any level for almost nine months after recovering from an ACL injury that he picked up against Leicester back in January.