Writer: Daniel Bailey
Date:Wednesday March 11 2009
Saints boss Mark Wotte doesn't blame England Under-21 international Andrew Surman, following last night's 1-1 home draw against Derby County.
The fan's favourite had a golden opportunity to double Saints' lead, just minutes after Chris Perry had put the home side in front, with a little help from both the crossbar and a Derby defender.
Having picked up McGoldrick's cross in from the right, Surman uncharacteristically fired the ball wide of the post, but in a game of few chances for either side, it would be unfair to criticise Surman, especially considering he has been one of Southampton's most consistent performers over the course of the season.
Speaking to the club's official website after the game, Saints' boss said, "After we scored for 1-0, it was more or less all about keeping a clean sheet and trying to get the second goal and Andrew Surman normally would have scored this goal," Wotte explained.
"He was not in his best form and it can happen," he added. "He is one of our best players this season, so I'm not blaming him for that, but you have to be clinical in finishing when you really want to have the three points and that's something that was a little bit of a problem last night."
Saints were frustrated throughout a goalless first half when the visitors made their intentions abundantly clear.
"They had certain tactics and they came here for a point and they got one," Wotte continued. "There was only one team who were playing to win so, of course, when you concede a late equaliser then you're disappointed.
"I could see that we were both not 100 per cent in our best form or best shape, and I think a little tiredness was there from both teams. I thought overall, though, we defended very well."
Derby's equaliser came seven minutes from time, when Martin Albrechtsen's mishit was intercepted on the right by substitute Steve Davies. The substitute then composed himself before firing past Kelvin Davis from the edge of the six-yard box.
"It was not an attack, it was just a shot that was picked up by this player in the box," Wotte critiqued.
"This guy's mishit the ball and it's been picked up by Steve Davies. It happens! You cannot play a game without the other team creating some chances, so I think the only thing we were lucky about was when they hit the post.
"If you play a very unlucky match they could have scored again to make it 2-1, but then again we could already have been 2-0 up.
"If Andrew Surman gets a clear shot in the box then normally it's a goal for Andrew Surman.
"But he wasn't having his best game, so after all that you have to take the point and move on to QPR on Saturday."
Date:Wednesday March 11 2009
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