Nigel Adkins urges Southampton to maintain discipline against Stoke
Southampton boss Nigel Adkins has warned his Saints they can only beat Stoke by maintaining their excellent discipline.
Last Updated: 29/12/12 2:10pm
The South Coast club lead the Premier League's Fair Play table after collecting just 15 bookings in their opening 19 games.
It could even land them a surprise place in the Europa League at the end of the season, with the domestic winners of the three best-placed national associations in the UEFA Respect Fair Play rankings qualifying.
However, Adkins is only focused on ending Stoke's 10-month unbeaten home run when the sides meet on Saturday.
But he knows the fourth-bottom Saints cannot afford to give away needless fouls against the Potters as they aim to move further away from the bottom three.
"The only way we can beat Stoke is by playing good football," said Adkins.
"If you give away stupid free-kicks you are playing to their strengths and will get punished.
"We are proud of disciplinary record, although I have not even thought about it taking us into Europe."