Adkins Happy With 'Good Workout'

By SFC Media Wed 18 Jul Club

First Team Manager Nigel Adkins was pleased with how his side came through their friendly against Étoile Carouge.

Saints trailed at the break after Jos Hooiveld's own goal gave the Swiss side the lead in a tight first half.

But Luke Shaw, one of nine half-time substitutes, levelled matters shortly after the break before fellow replacement Billy Sharp took centre-stage with a superb hat-trick.

The match rounded off the squad's third full day on the continent, with Nigel happy with what he has seen so far.

"We are pleased with how the week is going," the gaffer told Saints Player.

"We are working on different formations at this moment in time, so the two games we have this week will see a work in progress.

"We are very pleased with a lot of the things we have done tonight. We had a lot of the football, which was challenging on a pitch that was very dry and long, but we did pass the ball about.

"We have worked on rotations - keeping the ball and getting it into certain areas of the pitch.

"Jason Puncheon did ever-so-well in the first half and could have scored, while Prowsey (James Ward-Prowse) could have had one as well which was a questionable offside - and then he nearly scored at the end.

"I must say I thought James Ward-Prowse had an outstanding game, so we are really pleased about that."

Adkins continued: "We changed it around again in the second half and Billy Sharp has scored three - he could have had four but the goalkeeper has made some great saves to deny us.

"And it was pleasing that Luke Shaw got his first goal for the football club - we pushed him up on the left-hand side and he has cut inside and scored with his right foot so we are delighted about that.

"All-in-all it was a good workout in stifling heat - it was hot enough in the dugout but stifling for the players. They worked very hard and that was important for us.

"It was an excellent exercise today - yes, we won the game, but it was the little things that we are working on that are the important things at the moment."

Saints used a total of 21 players during the course of the match, with Jay Rodriguez and Steve De Ridder joining fellow camp members Steven Davis and Tadanari Lee on the sidelines.

However, Adkins says neither of the duo are long-term injury concerns: "Jay Rodriguez has the slightest little niggle on his hip, he did a bit of running before the game but we didn't want to risk him for the sake of it.

"Steve De Ridder picked up a bit of a hamstring strain at the weekend which isn't uncommon for a dynamic, explosive player and he isn't quite 100%.

"Pre-season is important and we don't want to put anyone at any undue risk so we left them out.

"Richard Chaplow got a bad kick on his calf at the weekend so we have gone steady and given him the last 20 minutes today.

"The last thing we want to do at this stage is put anyone at risk, especially at this stage of pre-season when someone could break down and be lost for two-or-three weeks at a crucial stage when the injury could have been prevented."

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