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Saints' spirit eases pressure on Adkins

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins highlighted togetherness as the catalyst to his side overcoming their miserable start to life back in the top flight with a comfortable victory over hapless Aston Villa yesterday.

Saints came into the match rooted to the bottom of the table after four successive defeats and looked on course for another loss when Darren Bent gave Villa a first-half lead.

However, Rickie Lambert drew the hosts level and then played a part in the build-up as Nathaniel Clyne tucked away a superb ball from Gaston Ramirez. Jason Puncheon saw a shot deflected in by Villa defender Ciaran Clark shortly afterwards, before Lambert netted from the spot in stoppage-time to secure a victory that lifts the pressure off the newly promoted side.

"I think it is understandable when you lose the first games of the season [there is a bit of tension and anxiety]," Adkins said. "It is always a situation that could be pressurised. We keep talking to players about working through the process. We want to pass the football and everyone is well aware of that. We've done it on many, many occasions.

"I think the supporters understand that as well and there was a massive togetherness all the way through the stadium."

Sunday Indo Sport