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Adkins revels in Southampton's 'growing belief' after comeback Chelsea draw

The Saints boss believes his side are learning how to pick up points in the top flight after an impressive second-half display extended Saints' run to just two defeats in 12 games

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins believes his side are growing in belief in the Premier League after fighting back from two goals down to salvage a valuable point against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The home side looked to have wrapped up the win following goals from Demba Ba and Eden Hazard, but the resurgent Saints refused to lie down and ensured they took a share of the spoils back to St Mary’s after Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon struck in the second half.

"We’ve come with a gameplan to get something from the game," Adkins told reporters after the game.

"We know Chelsea are a good side, and we knew after the last game that if we open up spaces for them between the lines, they’ve got fantastic players who are going to hurt you.

"We came with a gameplan to be compact, to intercept, to counterattack and to frustrate the opposition.

"With the second goal we conceded, we had several chances to clear the ball and we didn’t. But we stuck with the gameplan and the belief, and Rickie Lambert scores the goal to get us back in it.

"With the second goal, Luke Shaw intercepts and drives on, puts the cross in, and it’s a fantastic finish from Jason Puncheon.

"It’s only two defeats in our last 12 games, and both of those have been 1-0, so that’s a sign of how we’re improving. Not many sides are going to come from two down against Chelsea."

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The result sees Southampton move three points clear of the relegation zone, with their previously leaky defence having tightened up in recent weeks to boast the best goal difference of the bottom six teams.

Southampton welcome Everton to St Mary's on Monday knowing that a draw or better will see them extend their unbeaten run to six league games – their longest of the season so far.

"This is new to all of us," he continued.

"We’ve been used to winning games for the last two years, so we’ve improved, grown in confidence and found ways to pick up points.

"There’s a continual growing belief, and we’re in a position where we’re looking to pick points up in every game. We demonstrated we can learn. We’ve come with a gameplan and a desire to get something, and we’ve done it."

The club are yet to delve into the transfer market during the January window, and Adkins refused to rule out new arrivals before the end of the month, with Molde defender Vegard Forren heavily linked.

He added: "With all clubs in January there could be new additions, and we’re no different."

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