Nigel Adkins has billed Southampton's fixture with Swansea City at St Mary's on Saturday as "a relegation dogfight", aware defeat will leave his side anchored to the bottom of the league and put his job in even greater jeopardy.

The manager is under intense pressure to reverse a sequence of results that has seen his side gather just four points from their first 10 Premier League fixtures, losing eight of those matches and conceding 28 goals. Southampton's executive chairman, Nicola Cortese, is aghast at the poor start after investing around £30m in new player this summer and although Adkins, left, has not been given any ultimatums, the manager is aware his position is under constant review.

The visit of Swansea is the first of five home matches in six weeks and Adkins has challenged his players to improve their performances and begin gathering victories. "It is massively important," Adkins said. "We cannot do anything to affect the 10 games we've had previously. We move on and we look forward to the next ones with positivity, with a steely resolve. Our aspiration at the start of the campaign, we've had to assess that and address that.We're in a relegation dogfight and we're fighting. Everyone is well aware of that. People have to be accountable, players have to take responsibility like every other member of staff."

He added: "The supporters are certainly behind the football club and the players when they go on that football pitch, which is important. We're all going to work hard to make this a very successful season for Southampton. We've got to start getting points on the board.

"We've got to have that winning mentality that we've had for the last few years at the football club. We've just had 10 games. We've assessed where we are, we have to accept the situation but we've got to keep moving forward."

In a bid to draw an improved performance from his side, Adkins altered his usual preparation for home matches by taking the team to stay in a luxury hotel in Dogmersfield in Hampshire ahead of the visit of Swansea. "I think that is good," he said. "Change the routine of groundhog day, if you like. There is a different stimulus for everybody."

On the pitch, Adkins has regularly altered formation and personnel this season, sometimes having been forced to by injuries, and he may make further changes for this match, with the midfielder Jack Cork available again following a knee problem and the 17-year-old left-back Luke Shaw in line for a start following an impressive top-flight debut off the bench in Monday's defeat at West Bromwich Albion.

The Swansea manager, Michael Laudrup, has warned the hosts that the match is vital for his team too. "We don't need to win like they do, but we want to win," said the Dane. "There are key games in the season against teams who are just there with you in the table and these are games where we need to pick up points."