Adkins praises Southampton's 'fantastic spirit' after 10-man Forest felled
James Mariner is a journalist who has been boring The Independent sports desk with mindless statistics since June 2007. Helping with various, wide-ranging desk duties (I made the tea once), supervising workies and the endless researching of panels, James has an unnatural love of all things football, and in particular the Europa League, being a Tottenham Hotspur supporter. He cites Brian Sears and Ledley King among his heroes and can even find something interesting in Burnley v Hull City. On a good day.
Monday 16 January 2012
Nigel Adkins, the Southampton manager, believes Saturday's 3-0 win at Nottingham Forest will put the club back on track for promotion. The leaders put an end to an indifferent run of league form at the City Ground, coasting to victory over goal-shy 10-man Forest following a run of one win in six in the Championship.
"It's a long campaign, a long season and this performance will give everyone a great lift," Adkins said after goals from Guly Do Prado, David Connolly and Morgan Schneiderlin secured the win that keeps the Saints above West Ham on goal difference. "We don't need a lift anyway because we have got a fantastic team spirit.
"It's a hard division and you've got no divine right to go and win. We've controlled most of the games we've played away from home."
The Middlesbrough manager, Tony Mowbray, feels the failure in tying up a permanent deal for Coventry's Lukas Jutkiewicz may have impacted on the club's lacklustre display in the 2-0 home defeat by Burnley. The striker joined on an emergency loan to play in the match and came on as a substitute in the 57th minute. "It was frustrating not to tie it up properly in time for him to play," Mowbray admitted. "We missed the deadline to register." Goals from Jay Rodriguez and Kieran Trippier left the Riverside club five points off the top. "We huffed and puffed at times and just couldn't score," Mowbray continued. "Lukas gives an extra dimension up front. He is big, physical and strong and has qualities we didn't have before."
At the bottom, Millwall had a player sent off in each half as they lost 6-0 at home to Birmingham. The Lions manager, Kenny Jackett, said: "Shane [Lowry]'s sending off looked harsh to me." Alan Dunne followed his team-mate to the dressing room with half an hour left, during which time Birmingham scored five goals.
Jackett added: "While we were down to 10 men and it was 1-0 it was evenly poised and possible for us to get back into the game. The second sending off opened the floodgates and we will put this rather bizarre day behind us and make sure it doesn't knock us."
In League One,the Charlton manager, Chris Powell, spoke of his delight after his side became the first visitors to win at Sheffield Wednesday this season. "I'm very proud of my players," he said after Johnnie Jackson's free-kick winner. "To get a clean sheet and come away with three points is fantastic."
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