Southampton manager Nigel Adkins admits the thrashing by Arsenal was a 'big lesson' for his side
Nigel Adkins admits Southampton's 6-1 thrashing by Arsenal was a 'big lesson' for the Premier League newcomers.
Last Updated: 15/09/12 6:56pm
The Saints scored two own goals through Jos Hooiveld and Nathaniel Clyne as the Gunners ran rampant at Emirates Stadium.
Adkins concedes Arsenal produced an impressive display and says it is all part of the learning curve for Southampton, who were promoted from the Championship last season.
He told Sky Sports: "You can turn around and say Arsenal were certainly very good, some of the goals they scored. Obviously we'll analyse it in detail ourselves later on.
"At times they were exhilarating as they have been on many occasions here at the Emirates. It was a big lesson for the players, and everyone, again today.
"This is the level we've got to aspire to be at, the top end of it."
The manager added: "We put ourselves in a situation where we want to get the ball, we want to pass the ball, and when we haven't got it we want to go and close the ball down and press it. If you give quality players enough time, they're going to hurt you, and that's certainly what happened today.
"From our point of view there were occasions where we had good possession of the ball and we turned it over far too cheaply to give Arsenal the advantage in that respect.
"We'll analyse it as we always do and we'll put a line underneath it."
It was a disappointing afternoon in particular for Saints defender Hooiveld, who was substituted with injury not long after scoring an 11th-minute own goal.
New signing Maya Yoshida was brought on as his replacement and Adkins feels the Japanese stopper improved as the match progressed.
He added: "(Hooiveld) has done his calf. Maya has only played with us for one day and he was thrown straight into the action. I thought he grew into the game as the game went on."
Another summer capture, record signing Gaston Ramirez, was introduced just after the break and Adkins felt he showed promising signs.
The manager said: "Gaston Ramirez, what a good introduction I thought he was.
"He trained with us for the first time last night. An exciting prospect, so I'm glad that he's got 45 minutes under his belt."
Despite the result, Adkins was full of praise for 17-year-old midfielder James Ward-Prowse, a product of the Saints' youth academy who has only a handful of senior appearances to his name.
"I must say I thought James Ward-Prowse was outstanding for us in the middle of the park," said Adkins.
"He's played the full game. He kept getting on the ball, he kept making decisions, and I thought that was fantastic.
"Just to single out young Prowsey, who's come through our system, I think at 17 he did really well today."