Nigel Adkins Sees Southampton Up Close
In the first half we could have scored and then perhaps we could have gone on to play with more freedom and gained the much needed win.
The goal didn't come though and as the first half wore on we looked less comfortable all round.
The question marks came flooding back though with the second half performance. It was more and more likely as the game wore on that we would leak a goal.
Kelvin made a couple of good saves but when the Dons finally scored we had the almost inevitable dropping of the heads. We seemed almost resigned to our fate.
Nigel will have noted how the players reacted to going behind. He will also have seen how poor we seem to be at set pieces.
Nobody seems capable of taking a good corner except Rickie Lambert and he is needed in the middle. Free kicks around the box have to be taken by him as well which again takes him away from the area most goals are scored from.
One thing noted was the way we started with both Puncheon and Chamberlain playing wide to spread the play in the first half. Nigel's influence showing already and it was good to see.
The midfield though is where I feel we need most tweaking. Hammond has not been seen since being made captain as the player he was beforehand.
Another worry is the way both Dean and Morgan continue to get booked for late and sometimes nasty tackles. Both often seem to disappear at times as well.
The team has some good quality players in it and a couple of very promising youngsters. Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Aaron Martin have both shown a great deal of promise.
Aaron Martin is the one on everyones lips with the way he has progressed since we got him from Eastleigh. He has played extremely well this season and has looked better than Fonte at times.
Dan Seaborne came in for the injured Martin and after a slightly unsteady start grew in stature as the game progressed. I am quite looking forward to seeing him and Martin playing together.
Connolly is full of tricks and has a lot of skill but is slowing up when we need someone with Lambert who has some pace. It was interesting to see Nigel push Chamberlain up with Rickie at the end of the game to see how he fared presumably.
I liked that move because it shows a manager who can think on his feet as he sees a game developing.
He will know he has a good keeper in Kelvin Davis, a fantastic shot stopper. He will also have seen how Dan Harding plays and that he has an uncomplicated trier at left back.
For me it will be interesting to see what happens with Fish Mills and Ryan Dickson. Both play left back and have been used as left sided midfielders as well.
Last night the team showed Nigel what is happening with it right now and I for one am looking foward to seeing exactly how soon he starts changing things around.
So all that is left is for me to say welcome to the under performing Southampton football team Nigel. We are all waiting now to see how you turn things around.
I imagine one change will be that of a return after suspension of Lee Barnard. I hope that he looks as sharp as he did before his enforced break.
Next up we have a home match against Colchester and they will be looking to win at ours with the way we have been playing. It will be interesting to see how we line up.
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