Adkins: Supporters Drove Us On

By SFC Media Wed 26 Dec Club

Nigel Adkins was full of praise for both his players and the travelling supporters in the 1-1 draw at Fulham.

The gaffer saw Saints recover late on to earn a point in West London thanks to Rickie Lambert’s penalty, a goal that had been coming on the back of a much improved second half display at Craven Cottage.

“We wanted to get three points from the game so after going behind it was important that we took something from the game,” he told Saints Player.

“When you look at the second half we were the team likely to go and get all three points. 

“I think when you look at the defensive set up of Fulham it is hard to break those sort of teams down. Yes it was wet and windy, but it was for both sides. Kelvin (Davis) hasn't really had anything to all afternoon. 

“Our supporters drove us on again, particularly in the second half - the noise they were making really helped the players because we were on the front foot for most of the second half.”

Although plenty of opportunities were created in open play, Nigel was satisfied that the leveller came from a set piece, when former Saint Chris Baird handled inside the area.

“I was pleased we finally got a penalty,” he highlighted. “Rickie has despatched it well and although the keeper got two hands to it the power of the shot meant it went in. 

“The keeper has had to make another good save shortly afterwards from Gaston Ramirez which he had to take at the second attempt and I think in the second half we were the team likely to go on and win. 

“We are showing a growing maturity in games,” Adkins added. “We do everything we can to affect the game and then go and compete, stay on the front foot and win our one-on-one duels.”

Nigel made one change to his starting line up from the defeat to Sunderland with Steven Davis coming into midfield and Emmanuel Mayuka dropping to the bench. The extra body in midfield enabled Gaston Ramirez and Jason Puncheon to play on either side of Lambert.

“He (Gaston) plays on the left hand side for Uruguay and we like him in behind Rickie playing in between the lines but with Adam injured it is a natural thing to do to put Gaston on the left hand side,” the manager explained.

“I need to analyse that myself so that we have the opportunity whoever we play against to win a game of football. 

“We played three in the middle of the park today with Davis, Cork and Schneiderlin to try and dominate the field and pass the ball around, which I thought being away from home we could have gone and done. 

“We analyse things before the game to see where the mis-matches are, during the games you have to be reactive to things and then at the end of the game you can analyse things to see what you did well and what you can improve.”

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