Nigel Adkins revealed why he chose to take off three of Saints’ most effective players towards the end of their 3-2 defeat against Manchester United.

The manager withdrew Jason Puncheon , Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana in the final 15 minutes of yesterday’s contest, with the hosts leading 2-1.

All three players had caused United a host of problems throughout the match, but were replaced by new signing Emmanuel Mayuka , Guly do Prado and Jay Rodriguez , before Sir Alex Ferguson’s men snatched all the points with two late goals.

While there was some surprise at Adkins’ changes, the Saints boss insisted the side needed an extra injection of energy for the final push.

“We wanted to be positive in what we were doing,” he said. “I made three forward changes to get three fresh legs in there.”

Full story in today's Daily Echo