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Fonte hails Saints' character
9:00am Monday 4th November 2013 in Sport
JOSE Fonte was pleased with the character Saints showed after the shock of conceding one of the fastest-ever Premier League goals – to a goalkeeper.
The Saints defender had been determined to help keep a fifth clean sheet in six games.
But within 12 seconds of the kick-off, Asmir Begovic’s wind-assisted punt bounced between himself and Dejan Lovren, over Artur Boruc and into the back of the net. “It was very strange,” he said. “We were in the huddle just before the kick off saying ‘Come on ... we can keep a clean sheet today’ and 30 seconds later we were losing 1-0!
“The ball had so much pace on it and skidded on the floor, it was a very weird one and there was nothing we could do about it.
“It’s one of those things that doesn’t happen very often, it’s never happened in a game I’ve played in before, and was obviously a bit of a shock. But I think we showed tremendous character.
“We dug deep against the wind, we played our passing football, got a very good goal and showed what our team is about.”
Saints had lost the pre-match toss so swapped ends before kicking off against the wind.
“We wanted to play with the wind behind us, we weren’t lucky with that one,” continued Fonte, pictured below.
“Strangely enough, we found it difficult playing with the wind behind us in the second half. It can take the ball away from you, so it’s not always easier.
“It was a bit of a weird game, bearing in mind the conditions.”
Saints were fortunate not to be 2-0 down within ten minutes of the freakish start, with Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross missing a gilt-edged chance.
“We could have been in real trouble, we lost the man and it was a good chance,” said Fonte. “We got away with it – but maybe we deserved that after their goal, which was a little bit of a fluke.”
Saints looked like they would go on to win the game when Jay Rodriguez headed in the excellent James Ward-Prowse’s David Beckham-like delivery from the right, just before half-time.
“It was the right time to score, we went in at half-time with a good feeling, the mood was good,” continued Fonte.
The fact Saints were disappointed with a 1-1 draw after conceding a one-in-a-million goal shows just how far they have come in recent months.
But importantly they are now unbeaten in eight matches, a run stretching back to the end of August, and have the chance to extend it at home to Hull City on Saturday, their last game before the international break.
“We’re a little bit disappointed not to win the game but this is a very hard ground to come to so we’ll take a point,” added Fonte.
“We’ll look forward and move on to the next one. Confidence is very good, we’re working very hard and there is belief in the team. The way we are going, the ambition is very high.
“We want to finish as high as possible.”
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