Southhampton 2-0 Barnsley: Daily Mirror match report
Published 21:01 11/03/12 By Jake Rusby
Southampton’s two-goal hero Adam Lallana insists they can thrive in the Premier League – without any new signings.
Lallana believes the Championship table-toppers can follow in the footsteps of Norwich and Swansea and flourish in the top flight next term with the same set of players.
He said: “Norwich have proved that this season. They haven’t bought eight or nine million pound players, they have bought Championship and League One players.
“They have proved with a good squad and a bit of rotation that clubs can keep their status in the Premier League.
“Our bench today was so strong. We have the strongest squad in the league. That’s what we need to get promoted. We have got something to achieve this season and are fully focused on that.”
Lallana, who has been the outstanding midfielder in the Championship this season, has been on the radar of Premier League clubs but committed his future to Southampton in January by signing a four-and-a-half year deal at St Mary’s.
And what a difference his presence has made this season. He showed his class again as he got on the end of 25-goal striker Rickie Lambert’s knockdown to fire Saints into a 34th-minute lead.
And the midfield magician put the game to bed nine minutes after half-time, poking in his tenth league goal of the campaign following superb work from Japanese striker Tadanari Lee.
Lallana was happy to find the net if only to take the pressure off the league’s leading scorer Lambert.
He added: “It’s great to be scoring and taking the pressure off the big man because he has been absolutely outstanding for us.
“We could have had four or five, it’s just great time to be part of this team.”
Barnsley boss Keith Hill missed the defeat through illness and striker Craig Davies admitted his absence affected the team.
He said: “It was not the best way to prepare but you have to be able to deal with these things – life is never easy.
“It’s no excuse for us. We shouldn’t blame anything, it is up to the 11 players on the pitch to perform. We started well but their goal really knocked us.
“They are a very good side and we won’t be too disheartened. We will take some positives into the game with Reading on Saturday.
“We are always looking over our shoulder but we have ten games to go and we’ll see where we are at the end of them.”