Monday 08 October 2012

Mixed feelings for Adkins as Southampton salvage point

Nigel Adkins delighted at character of side; Fulham's Martin Jol rues what might have been

  • Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer thwarts Southampton's Rickie Lambert in the 2-2 draw

Nigel Adkins was delighted with the character shown by his team after Southampton battled back to earn a dramatic 2-2 draw against Fulham, although he regretted the defending that saw Saints ship two goals.

Jose Fonte gave the south-coast side a fourth-minute lead but, having failed to make the most out of their first-half dominance, the defender had to come to his side's rescue with a last-minute header after Jos Hooiveld's second-half own goal and Kieran Richardson's 87th-minute effort.

"We'd like to think we could have done better with the goals we conceded, but there was great character from the players to score at the very end"
Nigel Adkins

"Obviously I am delighted we've come back so late on after going behind, but disappointed to concede the goals we did," said Adkins. "The first half was good. We passed the ball well at certain stages and we scored a good goal from a set play and could have maybe scored some more so the first half was very pleasing.

"The second half Fulham have come out and had a bit more possession of the ball. It was too open for our liking. We weren't compact enough in our pressing as a team and we conceded a couple of poor goals.

"We'd like to think we could have done better with them, but there was great character from the players to score at the very end. You've got to take your chances when they're presented. We had several good opportunities throughout the course of the game."

Southampton have conceded an unrivalled 20 goals in just seven Barclays Premier League matches this season and Adkins knows that defending is an area his newly promoted charges need to address, even if right-back Nathaniel Clyne was out injured and his replacement Frazer Richardson was forced off after eight minutes.

"I keep going on about learning but we need to learn quicker," added Adkins. "We've got to keep the ball out the back of the net."

If Adkins was grateful for the point, Fulham manager Martin Jol was left frustrated by the late leveller.

"I wasn't pleased with either goal but I was very pleased with the resilience and character,” he said. "We did better in the second half. We stood up and played like we always did before. We put them under pressure and created more. Our better players had the ball and we played football."

Read full match report, in-game commentary, photos and match stats here

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Key Points

  • Southampton manager Nigel Adkins delighted at spirited comeback in 2-2 draw
  • Saints tactician nonetheless critical of side's defending
  • Fulham manager Martin Jol frustrated at late dropped points