Pre-season tour vital - Southampton boss Nigel Adkins
Southampton boss Nigel Adkins says his side's pre-season tour of Switzerland is vital to their preparations for the Championship this season.
Saints, who were promoted from League One last May, play FC Biel-Bienne on 13 July and FC St Gallen on 16 July.
"We go to Switzerland and face a different style of football. It'll help us improve and get ready for the season," Adkins told BBC Radio Solent.
"We need to be ready, not just for the first game, but the whole season."
Last week Southampton confirmed the signing of Chelsea midfielder Jack Cork, who had previously played under Adkins at Scunthorpe during the 2007/08 season.
The 23-year-old made 35 appearances for the Iron and was voted their player of the season.
"He's a player we developed at Scunthorpe and kept an eye on during his time at Burnley. He's young, hungry and has a great attitude," he said.
"We worked very hard over the summer and we're delighted to now have Jack here at Southampton.
"This signing just shows the ambition of the club, we have a vision to get ourselves back into the Premier League and bringing Cork into this club gives us another opportunity to keep progressing in the right direction."