Adkins hails Saints character

Southampton boss Nigel Adkins hailed his side’s battling

qualities after they came from 2-0 down to snatch a point against

Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

But Adkins also felt his side had followed their instructions

almost to the letter in securing an unlikely draw.

“We came here with a gameplan,” he said. “Obviously Chelsea are

a good side and if you give them space they’re going to hurt

you.

“So we came here to put a block in and to try to intercept and

then go on and counter-attack.

“The two goals we conceded – we could have cleared them a little

bit better in the penalty area and the one just before half time

could have been a big sucker punch.

“But it was great character from the players – to come out in

the second half and stick to that gameplan – and great impact (from

the substitutes) coming off the bench and to go and claw two goals

back.”

It took substitute Rickie Lambert less than three minutes to

score the goal that sparked the visitor’s comeback but Adkins was

unapologetic about leaving his top-scorer on the bench.

“We came with a gameplan,” Adkins insisted. “To use the pace of

Jay Rodriguez on the counter-attack and then look for the impact

when Rickie Lambert comes on – and impact was what it was all

about.

“He (Lambert) was fresh for those final 35 minutes of the game

and he’s come on and scored a vital goal.”