Adkins: Southampton learnt lessons in Manchester City defeat

The boss claims he can draw a lot of positives from the Saints' opening day defeat to the Premier League champions, but admits his players still have much room for improvement

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins has called on his side to adapt quickly to life in the Premier League if they are to be competitive this season.

The Saints played their part in a thrilling encounter with Manchester City on Sunday, eventually losing out to the Premier League champions despite coming back from a goal down to briefly lead in the second half.

And with Champions League holders Chelsea next up for Southampton, the Adkins believes his side will need to learn quickly from the experiences gained from their first top-flight game in seven years.

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“I’m a positive character and everyone has to take the positives,” he told talkSPORT.

“We always learn lessons from games, win, lose or draw. A lot of lessons were learned from today and we’ve got to learn them quickly.

“We have to find ways to win. We have been able to adapt ourselves now to three different ways of playing football but the principles are still there.

“We want to pass the ball but ultimately it’s about finding a way to win. That is what you have got to do.”