Southampton v Fulham reaction
Nigel Adkins was disappointed by the way Southampton almost gifted Fulham victory at St Mary's on Sunday, but was pleased with their character. Jose Fonte gave Saints a fourth-minute lead on the south coast in Sunday's Premier League encounter but, having failed to make the most out of their first-half dominance, the Cottagers levelled things up thanks to Jos Hooiveld's second-half own goal. The Dutch defender was again involved two minutes from time when substitute Kieran Richardson's close-range effort took a deflection off him on its way in, seemingly ensuring an away win for the west Londoners. However, Saints rallied late on and Fonte's last-gasp header earned a 2-2 draw that Adkins knows could have easily been three. "Obviously I am delighted we've come back so late on after going behind, but disappointed to concede the goals we did," Adkins said. "The first half was good. We passed the ball well at certain stages. "We scored a good goal from a set play and could have maybe scored some more so the first half was very pleasing. "The second half Fulham have come out and had a bit more possession of the ball. It was too open for our liking. "We weren't compact enough in our pressing as a team and we conceded a couple of poor goals. "We'd like to think we could've done better with them, but there was great character from the players to score at the very end. "You've got to take your chances when they're presented. We had several good opportunities throughout the course of the game." Southampton have now conceded a league-high 20 goals in just seven Premier League matches this season. Adkins knows that statistic is not good enough but was proud of his defence's efforts today after right-back Frazer Richardson was forced off after eight minutes, resulting in a defensive reshuffle. "I keep going on about learning but we need to learn quicker," the Saints boss said. "We've got to keep the ball out the back of the net." Nathaniel Clyne would have likely slotted in at right-back had he not missed today match through a dead leg. Gaston Ramirez also missed out with a similar problem - one, though, that Adkins revealed is more problematic. "Nathaniel has got a dead leg picked up at Everton, which he has not recovered from," Adkins said. "Gaston's got a similar thing with a dead leg picked up in training on Thursday, but that was quite a serious one. "The muscle swelled up very much because there was nowhere for the blood to go so there was a lot of pressure on his thigh. "He has had to have a couple of days in hospital to try and relieve the pressure so obviously he is not going to go and join the Uruguayan team over the international break. "I would suggest as Nathaniel did not play today he won't be fit to go with England Under-21s as well." While Adkins was left thankful for a point, Fulham manager Martin Jol was left ruing what could have been. The Dutchman was left annoyed by Fonte's leveller as he claims Maya Yoshida fouled Kieran Richardson in the build-up to the goalscorer giving away the set-piece. "It was 100 per cent a free-kick and I know as I remember I thought 'now we are fine, now we have the ball and the pressure is gone'," Jol said "But he did it as if he didn't see it and two seconds later it was a free-kick for them. That happens and, of course, if it hadn't they wouldn't have scored. "I wasn't pleased with either goal but I was very pleased with the resilience and character. "We did better in the second half. We stood up and played like we always did before. We put them under pressure and created more. "Our better players had the ball and we played football."
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