Southampton secure promotion

Southampton secured promotion to the Premier League with a comfortable win at home. They beat already-relegated Coventry City 4-0 to confirm their second successive promotion and restore top-flight football to St. Mary’s.

Manager Nigel Adkins joined the broke Southampton from Scunthorpe and masterminded their return to the Premier League after a seven year absence. "A lot of people have put a lot of hard work in here," Adkins said. "The players deserve all the plaudits they'll get as everyone at this club has worked their socks off since I've been here. Southampton are back in the Premier League, and I'm a happy man - I'm proud and honoured."

West Ham’s hopes of overhauling Southampton on the last day of the Championship always looked forlorn. They beat Hull 2-1 and must now take their chances in the play-offs. The other three sides battling for the one remaining place in the Premier League are Cardiff, Birmingham and Blackpool.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has left fans disenchanted with the unattractive football played by the team this season. But he may be forgiven if they get through the play-offs.

"We dropped too many points with draws at home," Allardyce said. "But we were a bit unlucky as in the last four or five seasons 86 points was enough to win automatic promotion." West Ham now face Cardiff in the play-off semi-final. The Welsh club will hope for a quick return to Wembley after their narrow defeat in the Carling Cup final.

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