Southampton's executive chairman Nicola Cortese has defended his controversial sacking of Nigel Adkins, describing the timing as "perfect".

Adkins was relieved of his managerial duties nine days ago after taking the club to back-to-back promotions and 15th place in the Premier League, with his dismissal arriving two days after a 2-2 draw at Chelsea. He was immediately replaced by Argentinean Mauricio Pochettino, with the general consensus being that Adkins had been harshly treated.

The Southampton fans certainly felt so and sang their former manager's name during the 0-0 draw with Everton last Monday, but Cortese stands by the move he made. In an interview with Sky Sports News, he said: "Nigel and I, we always had a very good relationship, to the last second. It was very tough, not just for him but for me."

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