Football

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Adkins: We can get better

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Southampton manager Nigel Adkins watched his side get their season off to a flyer with a 3-1 win over Leeds - and then said there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Well-taken goals from Dean Hammond, Adam Lallana and David Connolly put Saints out of sight long before shellshocked Leeds mustered a consolation through Max Gradel's stoppage-time penalty.

But Adkins told Sky Sports afterwards: "It was a long way from the perfect performance but it's an important three points."

He added: "We had to compete, we gave ourselves problems and tried to play in the wrong areas at times, but we scored three good goals and got a valuable three points.

"We gave a poor goal away at the end as well, which we are frustrated about. But it kickstarts our season which is great."

Leeds did squander a great chance to go ahead in the eighth minute when Jonathan Howson shot straight at Saints goalkeeper Kelvin Davis, who was able to make a fine reaction save.

But less than two minutes later the hosts took the lead - and they never looked back.

Hammond collected the ball midway inside the Leeds half, strode forward unchallenged and fizzed a precise shot past the outstretched arm of Andy Lonergan and inside the post.

Slick Saints doubled their advantage in the 24th minute when Rickie Lambert played in England Under-21 international Lallana, who turned inside lone defender Andy O'Brien before tucking the ball past Lonergan.

The third goal came shortly after the break when veteran frontman Connolly played a superb one-two with Lallana, flicking the ball into the midfielder's path and collecting the return before sliding it past Lonergan.

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Topics:
Andy Lonergan
Dean Hammond
Football
Championship
Rickie Lambert
Southampton
Jonathan Howson
Adam Lallana
Kelvin Davis
David Connolly
Leeds United

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