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Adkins spurred on by Saints' unrewarded revival

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins was buoyed by what he saw against Tottenham yesterday despite the fact his side fell to a seventh Premier League loss in nine matches.

Saints looked dreadful in the first half at St Mary's and deservedly went in at half-time trailing to goals from Gareth Bale and Clint Dempsey.

The south-coast side did, though, return reinvigorated after the break and, having pulled one back through Jay Rodriguez, were unfortunate not to take a point from the match.

"We could have scored more," Adkins said. "We had them on the rack, but unfortunately we ran out of time.

"The second half was very good, I think, and we gave ourselves the opportunity to win the game.

"What we did in the second half we had wanted to do in the first half so let's give Spurs some credit because they slowed the game down very well.

"I think we had good possession up until the final third, where we just couldn't find the breakthrough -- which is something that we talked about at half-time, but in the second half it was a good performance from the players.

"We wanted to get on the front foot. Nathaniel Clyne put a great challenge in on Bale in the early stages and you start to think things might go your way.


"We got on the ball and moved it because we wanted to get a high tempo going, which is what we did in the second half."

While Saints have just four points to show from their opening nine games, yesterday's result moved Tottenham up to fourth. Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas was pleased by the desire his team showed.

"Obviously I am happy for what we did in the game and certainly it was a good first half," the Portuguese said.

"We kept the ball well, managed to create lots of opportunities and always looked in control of the game.

"They came out very, very strongly in the second half. As soon as they scored, the game changes and makes it more difficult.

"But in the second half we showed that desire to defend and hold onto the result."