NIGEL Adkins believes Reading FC's remarkable run to draw level with Saints at the top of the Championship table highlights how good his side have been over the entire season.

The Royals arrive at St Mary's tonight on the back of 40 points collected from their last possible 45, which includes 13 victories from 15 games.

It is an incredible surge that has seen them rise up the table and now look like they, along with Saints, will grab automatic promotion to the Premier League.

Perhaps inevitably given the nature of their run, Reading's achievements have attracted a lot of attention while Saints, due to their consistency, have flown under the radar.

But Adkins is looking at the bigger picture and considering Saints' form over the entire campaign.

"It maybe just underlines that they've been on a good run but also underlines what a good job we've been doing as well," he said.

"They're a big threat.

"Look at Harte as well with his delivery from set plays and they are a big team.

"We have watched them and we are well aware of their capabilities and I'm sure they will be well aware of ours as well.

"All we're doing is striving to be the best that we can be.

"We will concentrate on ourselves and what we can do and keep pushing everybody to be the best they can be, to keep pushing everybody to improve as individuals, to improve as a team and hopefully take this football club back to where it belongs."

Adkins is hoping Saints can impose their game upon Reading and added: "You endeavour to do that in every game but this is a challenging division.

"You have no divine right to have it your own way, you've got to earn your own right."

Saints do have the bonus of having had extra recovery time.

Saints finished their Easter Monday game at Crystal Palace at 5pm while Reading weren't even kicking off their fixture at Brighton until more than 24 hours afterwards.

"It's one at a time. We take care of business, and do what we've always done," said Adkins."I'm sure people are sick and tired of me saying it but it works."We put Portsmouth to bed and the way the players responded (at Crystal Palace) was top drawer."We were back in Tuesday and the lads will take care of business physically, debrief, learn the lessons and get ready for the Reading game."

A Friday night match due to Sky is another test for Saints' preparations as well, which have recently also had a variety of different kick off times to deal with.

"It's been interesting," smiled Adkins. "There have been a few games we've had now with different kick off times - 5.20pm, 1pm, 7.45pm on different days of the week."We plan, we prepare, we deal with it. It's not an issue."