Adkins hails Lallana as 'best in the Championship'


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The Independent Football

Nigel Adkins, the Southampton manager, has labelled Adam Lallana "the best player in the league" after the midfielder put in a goal-scoring performance in the Saints' 4-0 win over Derby to move back to the summit of the Championship on Saturday.

"It was an outstanding goal from Adam Lallana," said Adkins. "One word sums him up – class. For me he is the best player in the league; he is top drawer." Danny Fox also impressed – notching up a hat-trick of assists – as well as the Japanese striker Tadanari Lee, who fired in from 18 yards on 75 minutes, scoring his first goal in English football since signing from J-League side Sanfrecce Hiroshima last month.

Portsmouth capped a dismal week off the pitch with a disappointing performance on it, comfortably beaten 2-0 at Barnsley. Pompey now sit in the relegation zone after the defeat compounded their 10-point deduction for entering administration – the second time in three years the club has been in such plight.

Players and staff were not paid in last month and administrator Trevor Birch has called the club's situation "crazy", revealing that an unnamed player at Fratton Park is earning in excess of £30,000 a week.

Manager Michael Appleton was only able to name three substitutes and faced an uphill challenge at Oakwell when Dave Kitson was sent off for two soft bookings before half-time. Jim O'Brien fired Barnsley ahead on 76 minutes before Matt Done put the result beyond doubt in stoppage time.

In League One, Notts County have sacked manager Martin Allen after the club slumped to a 3-0 away defeat at play-off chasing rivals Hartlepool.