SAINTS boss Nigel Adkins insisted that confidence remains high despite defeat at home to Spurs.

A spirited second-half was not enough to cancel out the two goals conceded during a woeful first 45 minutes at St Mary’s. Saints trailed 2-0 at half-time, with former player Gareth Bale opening the scoring, before Jay Rodriguez set up a rousing finish with his first Premier League goal midway through the second half.

Adkins said: “The reaction of the players to going behind showed great character and passion and gave ourselves a chance of winning the game “We’ve got everyone pulling in the same direction, which is important, and that gives us an opportunity to achieve what we want to achieve this season.

“We’re positive in everything we do, we keep working hard on the training ground and the lads have had a good week.

"Confidence is high and needs to remain high, it’s about sticking shoulder to shoulder with your mate and getting on with it.

“We’ve come a long way in a very short space of time and this is a first experience for a lot of people.

“Maybe we need a bit more belief, not look at the names on the back of the opposition shirt or the team sheet, and just go out and do what we do.

“We’re facing a great challenge, but when we look back we can say we worked very hard for each other during this spell and we’ll enjoy the successful period when it arrives."