Adkins raps flat Saints, but credits Sunderland

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NIGEL Adkins admitted his Saints side were sinners at St Mary’s after failing to dominate yesterday’s game against Sunderland, writes Graeme Anderson.

For long periods, the home team were second best and the manager was not slow to accept that point.

“I think it’s fair to say that we played in what was uncharacteristically a flat game for us at home,” he said. “We were flat.

“There seemed to be no buzz about us.

“And then, when we conceded just before half-time, it gave Sunderland something to hang on to.

“We have to analyse this game, see why it was the way it was, and then look to put it to bed before the Fulham game.

“We’ve worked very hard on the training ground.

“We had a proper match in training last weekend which was excellent – we’ve trained very hard and the players are fit and strong – but it just didn’t happen for us on the day.”

Adkins wasn’t laying all the blame at his team’s door, though.

“I think you have to give some credit to Sunderland for the way they played,” he said.

“When you really analyse it you see that Sunderland don’t concede too many goals.

“They a side that are capable of shutting up shop.

“I watched them against Manchester United the other week when it looked as though they might get a real hammering, but they were able to really close things down and prevent that.

“We didn’t work the Sunderland goalkeeper as well as we wanted to in the game, especially in the second half.

“There were a few ‘ooohs’ and ‘aahs’ but not much genuine danger from us when you look at it.

“But I do think that as well as looking at ourselves, you have to look at how well Sunderland did what they set out to do.”

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