Gaffer Rues Missed Opportunities

By SFC Media Sun 07 Oct Club

Nigel Adkins was left to reflect on the missed chances that came his side’s way in the 2-2 draw with Fulham.

Despite showing the character to earn a point late on, the manager was clearly frustrated after seeing Saints let a first half lead slip, particularly as his team had been in the ascendancy for much of the game.

“We had opportunities in the first and second half but if you get those then you need to put them in the back of the net,” he told Saints Player.

“We started well in the first half and pressed the ball very well which has led to a good goal from Jose Fonte.  We knew Fulham want to play out from the back and we have managed to get on the front foot and present ourselves with some opportunities, we just weren’t able to sustain that in the second half.  

“The game became far too open for us and we couldn’t get a grip of the football, started to defend far too deep and allowed them to pass the ball around.”

An own goal from Jos Hooiveld and a strike from substitute Kieran Richardson turned the game on its head, and Nigel says there’ll be plenty to analyse from the second half performance.

“I’ve just been made aware that the own goal was going wide when Jos deflected it in but it underlines that he is inside the six yard box when he is making that clearance and we cant be so deep. 

“In the cold light of day we had the character to come back and get something at the end of the game with another set piece from Jose, but it’s fair to say the second half was nowhere near what we are capable of producing or have done so already this season.

“We have talked about it hard and long that we need to score from set pieces and Jose has done well with two good goals today.”

Adkins withdrew Rickie Lambert at 1-0 which the gaffer explained was to allow Saints more pace in the final third

“We needed to be more compact with our shape when we looked at it,” he stated. 

“Rickie was playing in the 10 position and Guly has been out of the team for a bit so had the energy to go in there and run around.”

The hosts lost Frazer Richardson to an injury inside the opening ten minutes of play whilst Saints were at their brightest, which added to the concerns over Nathaniel Clyne and Gaston Ramirez who both missed out altogether on Sunday.

“It looks like he (Frazer) has pulled his thigh muscle so we will get a scan on that and see the extent of the tear of the muscle.

“Nathaniel has a dead leg that he picked up at Everton and had to come off which he hasn’t recovered from.  I would suggest that as he hasn’t played today he wont be fit to go away with England.

“Gaston has a similar thing with a dead leg that he picked up on Thursday but that was quite a serious one because the muscle swelled up as there was nowhere for the blood to go which led to a lot of pressure on his thigh.  He had to have a couple of days in hospital to relief the pressure there so obviously he won’t be joining up with Uruguay now in the international break.”

The point moves Saints up to 17th in the Barclays Premier League table ahead of the week’s break from the fixture schedule, but Adkins admitted that there’s still a lot of work to do.

“I keep going on about learning, but we need to learn a lot quicker that we need to keep the ball out of the net.

“It’s very pleasing that we aren’t in the bottom three for the international break, but at this stage of the season you don’t even look at the league table really.

“We have just picked up a point to get us out of the bottom three so we will take the positives.”

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