Patience of Saints

'We've got to work on the training pitch at seeing games out'

Last Updated: 08/09/12 3:25pm

Adam Lallana and Danny Fox

Club captain Adam Lallana says Southampton must learn how to close out games in the Premier League after his side's pointless start to the season.

The Saints led title-holders Manchester City 2-1 with 20 minutes to go of their first match back in the top-flight, only to lose 3-2, and then were on the wrong end of the same scoreline against Manchester United despite having a 2-1 advantage with four minute left on the clock.

With a 2-0 home defeat to Wigan sandwiched between those two games, Nigel Adkins' side is rock bottom of the league after three matches and Lallana told Soccer Am that the squad has got work to do.

"Four minutes of added time against United feels like 10!" he told Max and Helen. "The time was rightfully put on but United always come good towards the end of the game.

"I think it proves that the margin for error is that much smaller. We've just got to work on the training pitch at seeing games out. We work hard - we've just got to be more determined and concentrate towards the end of the game and we'll get there."

He added: "When we got City first game [on the fixture list] we were all delighted. Obviously we didn't get the result but I thought we did well.

"We've gone into the international break with no points and we're bottom of the table. We've got Arsenal away a week today so we'll be going down there definitely wanting to get a result."

Ambition

Lallana has made one appearance at England U18, U19 and U21 level but last week caught the eye of England assistant manager and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville, who on commentary during Southampton's defeat to United said: "The thing about Lallana is you want to see him at the highest level.

"Any English player who has got that level of skill and ability and performs week in, week out, must be in with a chance [of playing for England]."

Reflecting on Neville's comments, Lallana told Soccer AM: "It's great to obviously hear him say that. Obviously my football at Southampton is my bread and butter but my ambition one day would be to make an appearance for my country.

"To see Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott come through the Southampton youth team and play at major Championships for England gives you a lot of courage."

Injection

Saints team-mate Danny Fox has already represented his country, having won two full caps for Scotland although he was not in contention to play in Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Serbia due to a groin injury.

"I've got to have an injection in my groin on Monday so I don't think I'll be fit for Tuesday's game [against Macedonia]. Hopefully I'll be fit for the Arsenal game next Saturday.

"The injection doesn't sound nice at all. I'm dreading it to be honest. It's been an on-going thing with my groin for the last year and it's unfortunate it's come at such a bad time.

"I went away with Scotland a few weeks ago against Australia and done myself no harm in the game and then this. It's come at a bad time - the manager's picked me again for this squad and hopefully we can get a good result against Serbia."