Howe eyes play-off place

BY foxsports • December 9, 2012

Southampton are sweating on a knee injury suffered by captain Adam Lallana during Saturday's win over Reading.

Saints moved out of the relegation zone with a 1-0 win courtesy of Jason Puncheon but Lallana left on crutches to mar the win.

"We've got him in a brace and he is on crutches at the moment," manager Nigel Adkins said. "That is standard procedure.

"He has got a knee injury and what we will do is assess that over the next 24 to 48 hours and that will give us a better prognosis to how long potentially he will be out for.

"It could be short, it could be longer. We don't know so we won't guess at the moment."

Twice Moore's men led, but twice Portsmouth pegged them back as goals from Gabor Gyepes and Jake Jervis cancelled out efforts from Ash Taylor and Michael O'Halloran respectively.

And despite staying top of the pile on goal difference, Moore was not impressed as his side made it four league games without a win.

"I'm definitely frustrated, only one team was going to win it I thought," he said.

"To get caught defensively like that, its poor defending and we know it. I can't fault the effort that they've given, but they were really poor defensively.

"We're throwing points away. We have two tough away games to come. It just feels like a defeat really.

"Defensively I'm not going to single the person out, he knows what he's done wrong. One man slept and he's cost everyone. It's criminal.

"You need the second goal, but we gave them a lifeline just after half time. We've huffed and puffed but once you get to 2-1, you've got to see the five minute period out. But we gifted them the equaliser. We didn't even get chance to enjoy our goal.

"They get paid to score goals and the others get paid to defend. We don't look like keeping a clean sheet, that's the worry for me."

Matt Ritchie gave the hosts the lead in the eighth minute only for midfielder Danny Hollands' to put through his own net two minutes later.

Di Canio, who had 11 senior players on the sidelines, said: "I am disappointed because we deserved the three points.

"We have to keep the ball and we practice this. We we practice more than other teams in the league, but there is a limit to improve the individual.

"We have to be happy with the way we wear the shirt because we need pride and dignity, and we will win a few games.

"I didn't check the table but before there were five points between us and 12th place, now maybe two, so if we dominate but don't win we will drop.

"Nobody can be angry, my fans or myself, because if you play like this and dominate we will score if we don't concede an own-goal, and 90 per cent of the time we win the game."

A 2-1 victory at Scunthorpe saw his side extend their unbeaten run to 12 games since he returned to the club for his second spell in charge.

"I could not have wished for a better start and we are now closing in on the teams above us," he said.

"As a manager you always strive for perfection, and while you might never achieve that, I do feel we are moving in the right direction.

"There is still some work to be done, but I want us to be able to go anywhere in this division and believe we can come away with a win.

"I want us to develop that kind of arrogance, but in a nice, controlled way."

It was a fourth away win of the season for the Cherries who struck twice in three minutes in the first half to take control.

Leading marksman Lewis Grabban fired them ahead after 27 minutes with his eighth goal of the season.

Then, on the half hour, midfielder Wes Fogden notched his second goal in two games, blocking a clearance and then seeing the ball rebound back past keeper Steve Mildenhall.

Two harsh penalties gave Scunthorpe a chance to save the game, but Mike Grella missed the first before Karl Hawley netted a consolation from the spot.


share story