Adkins Delighted With Application

By SFC Media Sat 22 Sep Club

Nigel Adkins couldn’t hide his joy at the way his team came back to see off Aston Villa at St Mary’s.

Despite having the better of the first half chances Saints found themselves a goal down at half time as the match took a familiar turn, but a reinvigorated home side staged a stunning second half comeback with goals from Rickie Lambert (2), Nathaniel Clyne, and Jason Puncheon, to win 4-1.

“We created opportunities and controlled the football for long spells and then taken the opportunities that we created,” Adkins told Saints Player.

“Rickie Lambert has now scored four goals in the Premier League and I thought the combination between him and Gaston Ramirez was mouth-watering.  

“Gaston has come in and been outstanding since he has joined us, and likewise at the back Maya Yoshida has had a brilliant game - he has won his headers and kept calm and collected on the football.”

Nigel took the decision to replace Kelvin Davis in goal with Paulo Gazzaniga, which he felt would help Saints both defensively and in an attacking sense.

“I thought he had a very good game today,” Adkins said. “He came and caught the ball and made a good save in the second half.  

“Kelvin Davis has been outstanding since I joined this football club and a major player for what has happened at this football club over the last few years. 

"I had to make a decision which is what the manager has to go and do and I spoke to Kelvin on Thursday who reacted exactly as I expected him to, in a professional manner because he is a top bloke.

“We want to play out from the back but we know that not every team will allow you to do that.  

“Gazza has come into goal today and knocked the balls forward to Rickie and given their centre halves all sorts of problems by playing higher up the field.  

“When you do get on the ball that is when you go and pass it about and I thought we did that ever so well today and excited our supporters who were yet again outstanding.”

One man who certainly got the supporters out of their seats was Gaston Ramirez, who was at the heart of Saints’ good play.

“He came in Friday night before the Arsenal game and you could just see the players’ eyes light up,” Nigel explained.

“I thought he had a super game against Arsenal.  He has had a full week’s training with us now and you can see from today you just need to give him the football, he lifts the play, creates things and is a joy to watch.

“The supporters here are going to love him.”

Nigel also reserved special praise for the supporters who backed the team so vociferously throughout the game.

“They have been unbelievable since I have been here and they know how hard the players and everyone here work.  

“We all share the same common goal in that we want Southampton to do well and be in the upper echelons of the Premier League. 

"We are together as one and that was demonstrated yet again today.”

To watch Nigel's post-match interview on Saints Player, click here

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