Adkins chasing back-to-back promotions

Saints boss: Nigel Adkins

Saints boss: Nigel Adkins

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SOUTHAMPTON look to be on course for a return to the top flight just three years after being relegated to League One.

Saints finished second bottom the year Doncaster Rovers returned to the second tier of English football in 2008-09.

They were deducted 10 points for breaching the league’s insolvency regulations but because they were already in the bottom three the points were deducted the following season.

But for the deduction, Saints, who finished seventh, would have finished fifth.

Nigel Adkins, who twice steered Scunthorpe to promotion to the Championship, took over as manager at St Mary’s just a handful of games into the 2010-11 season and steered them to second spot behind champions Brighton, beating the club-record 19 clean sheets set in the early 80s when England’s Peter Shilton was in goal.

Saints celebrated their return to the second tier of English football by beating Leeds United at St Mary’s on the opening day of the season - the first time that they had kicked the season off with a win in 12 years. The win also set a new club record of seven successive league victories.

Saints extended their record-breaking run to 10 by the odd goal in five at Leicester City.

Saints arrive at the Keepmoat Stadium boasting both the best scoring record in the Championship this season and the top individual marksman in striker Rickie Lambert, who played against Rovers in their 2006-07 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win over Bristol Rovers. He was substituted in the second half of Tuesday’s 2-1 home win over Hull City as a precaution, and could face a late fitness test.

Do Prado (7), Adam Lallana (6) and David Connolly (5) also feature in the top 30 Championship scorers this season.