| 8.2°C Dublin

Saints told to tighten up at back by Adkins

NIGEL Adkins is getting fed up with Southampton's defensive frailties costing his side points.

Jose Fonte's last-gasp header earned Saints a 2-2 Premier League draw against Fulham yesterday in a match they had dominated for the most part.

The Portuguese defender also scored the opener after just four minutes but, like so many times this season, Southampton did their best to throw it away as Jos Hooiveld directed into his own net before Kieran Richardson put Fulham ahead.

Fonte may have levelled but Saints have now dropped 11 points from winning positions and conceded a league-high 20 goals, leading Adkins to a simple conclusion.

"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."

He added: "Obviously I am delighted we've come back so late on after going behind, but disappointed to concede the goals we did.

"The first half was good. We passed the ball well.

"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."

While Adkins was left thankful for a point, Fulham boss Martin Jol was left contemplating what might have been.

The Dutchman was annoyed by Fonte's second goal, claiming Maya Yoshida fouled Giorgos Karagounis in the build-up.

"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 if it hadn't they wouldn't have scored."