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Adkins hails Saints character

Wednesday 16th January 2013 22:36

Southampton boss Nigel Adkins hailed his side's battling qualities after they came from 2-0 down to snatch a point against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

But Adkins also felt his side had followed their instructions almost to the letter in securing an unlikely draw.

"We came here with a gameplan," he said. "Obviously Chelsea are a good side and if you give them space they're going to hurt you.

"So we came here to put a block in and to try to intercept and then go on and counter-attack.

"The two goals we conceded - we could have cleared them a little bit better in the penalty area and the one just before half time could have been a big sucker punch.

"But it was great character from the players - to come out in the second half and stick to that gameplan - and great impact (from the substitutes) coming off the bench and to go and claw two goals back."

It took substitute Rickie Lambert less than three minutes to score the goal that sparked the visitor's comeback but Adkins was unapologetic about leaving his top-scorer on the bench.

"We came with a gameplan," Adkins insisted. "To use the pace of Jay Rodriguez on the counter-attack and then look for the impact when Rickie Lambert comes on - and impact was what it was all about.

"He (Lambert) was fresh for those final 35 minutes of the game and he's come on and scored a vital goal."

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