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Adkins: Wigan defeat is a reality check
The manager watched his team lose their opening home fixture of the season 2-0, after succumbing to an accomplished second-half display from the Latics.
Saints had enjoyed the better of the first period at St Mary’s, but were unable to capitalise on their superiority.
After the break, they began to lose control of the contest and were picked off by Roberto Martinez’s men.
“Everyone knows a team who has just come up is in for a challenge,” said Adkins.
“We want to be positive and we have a winning mentality here.
“It is a game we were targeting three points and I thought we were positive.
“It just underlines how demanding the Premier League is.
“Every game is challenging and anybody can beat anybody.”
Under Adkins’ leadership, Saints have enjoyed remarkable success at St Mary’s.
Last season, they lost just three league games on their own turf, while setting a new club record for consecutive home wins. Combine that with Wigan’s often perceived status as one of the Premier League’s weaker teams and Adkins admitted there was perhaps too much of an expectancy that Saints would win.
“The reality is we’ve been very good here for the last two seasons,” said the Saints boss.
“We know being back in the Premier League it’s going to be really, really challenging.
“There’s no easy games. I think a lot of people might have turned up before the game looking at the fixture and thinking ‘Oh yeah, we should be able to go and beat Wigan Athletic.’ “But you’ve got to have a lot of respect for the opposition – I’ve always said that.
“We know it’s going to be tough and challenging and we’ve got to make sure we’re at the top of our game in everything we do.
“Concentration levels need to be high and we’ve got to be bang at it.”
Adkins agreed there were positives to take from the match, but warned Saints must be more ruthless as the season progresses.
“We were at home and had good possession for large periods and created good opportunities,” he said.
“The goalkeeper made good saves and we hit the woodwork on a number of occasions.
“It underlines in the Premier League you have got to take your chances when they are there. Wigan scored a very good goal.
“Kelvin had nothing to do during the game.
“If you make a mistake in the Premier League then you will get punished.”
Adkins would not be drawn, though, on whether he thought Jose Fonte had been fouled by Arouna Kone for Wigan’s second goal.
“There’s always going to be debate,” he said.
“The referee hasn’t give it. You’ve got to get on with it.”