Lee Barnard backs Southampton boss Nigel Adkins

Lee Barnard has urged Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese to remain patient with manager Nigel Adkins.

Saints have won just once since their return to the Premier League.

But Barnard - who remains a Saints player, despite being out on loan at Bournemouth - says Cortese should stick with the current regime.

"I've got a lot of respect for Nicola, he has done really well for the club and hopefully he has patience with the gaffer," he told BBC Radio Solent.

Barnard, who has scored three goals during his loan spell with the Cherries, added: "Nigel is a good manager and a good person and hopefully he get the time to turn it around. I'm sure he can."

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I haven't spoked to the gaffer yet but it's a good club, I'm enjoying my time here so hopefully I can stick around

Eddie Howe

The 28-year-old says he was as surprised to see his former strike partner Rickie Lambert left on the Southampton bench last weekend.

The Saints forward forged a successful partnership with Lambert during their League One promotion season.

And after Saints' 4-1 defeat last Saturday at West Ham, Barnard admitted he had not seen Lambert's omission coming.

"I was surprised," he said. "Rickie has been superb since he's been at the club and scored so many goals and really he's helped the club get where they are.

"So I was surprised he was on the bench and I just hope he won't spend too much time there and start playing and scoring like I know he can."

Meanwhile, Barnard also added that he does not expect to feature in Southampton's plans for the rest of the season, and would be open to extending his time at the Goldsands Stadium.

"I haven't spoked to the gaffer yet but it's a good club, I'm enjoying my time here so hopefully I can stick around," he said.

"The way pre-season went it showed me my future is not there but I'll wait until January and go from there."