Nigel Adkins insists Saints will continue to be positive despite conceding another three goals at Everton.

Though scoring hasn’t been a problem, Saints have now shipped 18 goals in their first six games back in the Premier League .

That is easily the worst defensive record in the top flight.

However, the Saints boss is adamant he will stick by his attacking principles in a bid to win games.

He said: “You should always be positive because you’ve got to look to win games.

“We do play good passing football and that was demonstrated in good spells in the second half.

“And at home we are very effective in doing that, but it’s about winning games of football.

“You’ve got to score goals to win games of football and, likewise, you’ve got to keep them out at the other end.

“We have shipped far too many goals, it’s something we’re addressing, but likewise you’ve got to understand you’re playing against good players.”

Saints let in their three goals at Everton in the space of 13 first half minutes.

Adkins, though, was unrepentant about his team’s forward thinking and clearly believes it’s the right way to go.

Following the completion of the club’s summer transfer window business , he certainly has far more attacking options in his squad than defensive ones.

He can choose between Rickie Lambert , Jaz Rodriguez, Emmanuel Mayuka , Gaston Ramirez , Guly Do Prado and Tadanari Lee for a striking role.

But he only has four frontline centre halves – Maya Yoshida , Jos Hooiveld, Jose Fonte and Dan Seaborne .

“When we analyse all the goals you always think you can do better, but you are playing against top level players,” he reflected.

“We believe we can score and we’ve scored yet again.

“We are looking to go away from home and win games, not just have a defensive mindset.

“We want to be positive in our approach and we demonstrated that with the way we started the game.

“But, likewise, we’ve got to make sure we give ourselves an opportunity to win the game, and if we can’t win it then get a point.”

Adkins summed up: “We believe in playing football the right way, but we’ve come away from home and it’s about winning.

“We’ve got a philosophy but it’s got be effective passing.

“We can do that, as Everton did – they can pass the ball about, move with a good rotation and have that physical presence going forward, but they can play long if they need to.

“It’s about having that all round game.”

Saints took the lead after just six minutes through amirez and could have gone 2-0 up when Rodriguez got in on goal shortly afterwards before firing wide.

Everton took charge and tore Saints apart to lead 3-1 at half time.

But the hosts took their foot off the gas in the second period and gave Ramirez the chance to make things interesting, but again the chance went begging.

It left Adkins felling a little rueful.

“We’ve come away and we started very well,” he said.

“For the first 20-25 minutes we’ve taken the game to Everton, scored a good goal, and if Jay Rodriguez had scored to make it 2-0 it might have been a different final reflection.

“Goals change games and 25 minutes gone the first real passage of play, where Everton have put consecutive passes together, gives them a goal.

“The crowd at Goodison Park got right behind Everton, they upped their tempo a lot.

“The second goal was from a counter attacking phase of play after we’ve had good possession, and that changed the complexion of the game for me.

“About ten-15 minutes before half-time Everton were in the ascendency, well on the front foot and it was very challenging for us to stay in the game.

“Second half we’ve come out with a good composure about ourselves to pass the football and to be effective with our passing.

“If Gaston Ramirez’s little chip had gone inside the post rather than outside then it could have been an interesting final period.”