Saints came through a gruelling 90 minutes against Norwich on Wednesday evening, and attention is already on Saturday’s game at Anfield, with Nigel citing that it will be no different for the opposition, who came through a busy match of their own in midweek.
“We’re respectful of all the opposition that we face, but we’ve got to go and play the game we want to,” the gaffer told Saints Player
“We’ve got eight points from the last four games so there’s a bit of form about ourselves. Liverpool were unbeaten in seven or eight games before Wednesday night, and they’ve got a quick turnaround as well to prepare and recover in so it’ll be interesting.
“We’ve got good recovery strategies here for the lads who were involved in the game,” he highlighted. “We’ve been in the swimming pool, they’ve ate well, stretched well and we’ve done massages and MOTs .
“Everyone’s got a smile on their face and a spring in their step. The lads who haven’t played have had their training session, so everyone is raring to go for the weekend’s game.”
For Birkenhead-born Adkins, this weekend’s game takes on some extra significance, but his main focus lies on letting the players express themselves at a ground not many of them will have experienced before.
“We’re in the Barclays Premier League so I’m sure all the lads will need no motivation for the game,” he said.
“We should look forward to every single game, and we do. There’s a history about the football club so we’re all going to enjoy going to Anfield where there are three points at stake, and that’s what we’re going to try and strive to get.
“We have a no fear attitude and we’ll be able to express ourselves to perform at the top level.
“I look forward to all of the games,” he added. “On a personal point of view, I’m from the Merseyside area, I was a schoolboy at Liverpool. It’s a dream of everybody’s to play at Anfield and to manage there as well.
“It’s a game that I’m looking forward to from a personal point of view, but I look forward to every single game as a manager.”
Adkins has monitored Liverpool’s performances all season, and says he knows what to expect from Brendan Rodgers’s side, adding that his team will pose a strong challenge for the hosts at Anfield.
“The teams who pass the football give themselves the opportunity to score goals and win games and that’s what we’ve got to go and do, keep hold of the football,” he stated.
“The research we’ve done on them already this season and from what we’ve been watching we know they’ll play a certain way, but what we’ve got to make sure is that we have a good defensiveness about ourselves, and when we’ve got the ball, we make sure that we utilise it well.
“We’ve scored goals consistently this season. We’re very close to Liverpool in the league at the minute so we’ve got to go there with a confidence about ourselves.
“They’ve got good players throughout the team. (Suarez) is the main goal scorer although as highlighted, they probably don’t have as many strikers as they’d like, but they’ve got good performers in the team.
“We’ve got Gaston Ramirez –Suarez’s strike partner for Uruguay, whilst Rickie Lambert has also been scoring goals. There’s Jay Rodriguez, Emmanuel Mayuka, Tadanari Lee, Guly do Prado, Adam Lallana, Puncheon etc. we’ve got some quality players at the football club and a good solid base as well which is important.”
The goalkeeping situation came under the spotlight on the back of Wednesday’s game, and Nigel explained that his current number one Paulo Gazzaniga, apologised to the team for his mistake in the Norwich match.
“Paulo’s got the shirt and he’s going to be highlighted for the other night, but he’s been great. He’s only 20 but he’s been big enough to stand up in front of everyone and say ‘I messed up there’ and it hasn’t fazed him which is the important thing. He’s going to have a growing confidence about himself and that’s an important thing for us.
“We’ve been good as a team, and I think if you look at the points we’ve amassed this term Paulo’s been in goal for all of them.
“The team sheet will come out on Saturday and you’ll know then (if he plays).
"I’ve got every confidence in Paulo Gazzaniga and I think he’s going to be a top, top goalkeeper. He’s got to be allowed to make mistakes, you’ve got to be brave enough to make mistakes so that you learn and don’t make the same one again.”