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Southampton will stick with attacking style no matter what, says Nigel Adkins
SAINTS will not abandon their attacking principles – no matter how bad results get.
That was the defiant message from Nigel Adkins, who has had to defend the club’s ethos to play attractive, passing football in the face of a raft of defeats.
There have been calls for Saints to alter their system in a bid to stop leaking so many goals – 24 in just eight Premier League games.
Only two other clubs in the top four divisions have leaked more league goals in 2012/13. AFC Wimbledon have let in 27 and Barnet 26 – but both those League 2 clubs have played five more games than Saints!
At their current rate of conceding goals, Saints will let in 114 Premier League goals this term.
Adkins, though, pointed to their success at the other end and emphasised the club have a style they wish to play which he is trying to deliver.
When asked if he would rather get relegated playing that way than change, he said: “We are going to play a certain way but we’ve got to keep the ball out of the net.
“There’s all different ways to go and there’s a principle on how the football club wants to go and we’re good at doing that.
“Maybe if we looked at alternatives who’s to say that’s going to be beneficial to us, because we are scoring goals?
The style of play dictates that we are scoring goals, (but) it’s obviously not keeping the ball out of the back of the net.”
Adkins added: “We have played football all the way through “You look at the last time we came to London we played Arsenal.
“We went in 4-1 down at half time and we have totally dominated the football in the second half, but we ended up getting beat.
“There is a brand of football that the football club wants to play, but you’ve got to win.
“You’ve got to stick to principles.
“Individually some players are getting found out, but it’s a collective thing and that’s important.
“The football club want to play football and that’s been demonstrated again, but it’s a simple game where you keep it out at one end and stick it in at the other.”
The pressure is really starting to crank up on the whole team, but most especially the leaky defence.
Adkins said: “Everyone is human and we highlighted to the players at the start of the season that every mistake they made will get highlighted quadruple.
“You’ve got to make sure that you keep a resolve and resilience and belief about yourself because when people highlight mistakes you make you lose a bit of confidence in yourself.”
On the leaking of goals, he added: “It’s cost us. You cannot concede the amount of goals that we have gone and done.
“It’s a collective thing. We’re as strong as our weakest link as they say and you don’t want to apportion individual blame.
“I know the players are very honest and hard working.
“I’m never one to harp on about injuries but, again, there has been enforced injuries we’ve had to deal with, but that’s why you have a squad so you just get on with it.
“There is a way that we want to play and that’s by passing it quickly and calmly through the thirds of the pitch.
“We’ve done that consistently over the last two seasons and scored a lot.
“At this level we are getting found out and are conceding far too many that ultimately results in us losing games.”