They both had to perform the ritual of a song

Last updated : 14 January 2007 By Tony Scholes
It's quite strange to hear a manager complaining about a referee's decision going in our favour, as we continue to await our first penalty since 2005, but Saints boss George Burley was adamant his side should have had one. “I have watched it on the video and it was a clear foul,” he said. “Mario Licka worked his way in on goal and was about to shoot and John McGreal stuck a leg out and tripped him.”

But even Burley knew damn well what Rasiak had been up to although wouldn't actually say that but did admit that his theatrical fall and appeal had probably brought about the correct decision. “I haven't seen the Rasiak one on video but that didn't look as strong,” Burley added.

“Sometimes you get those decisions and sometimes you don't. Referees are human and sometimes decisions go against you, and that was the case here, but maybe we just lacked the sharpness in front of goal today.

“We have an excellent home record and have been scoring goals but we couldn't break them down today. They came with a game plan and we have to accept sides coming here and playing for a point. We needed to be a bit more ruthless going forward and although we stepped it up in the second half we couldn't quite get through.

“We had a lot of corners and free kicks and pressure but we could not turn it into a goal, but we're still on a good run with just one defeat in fifteen games and we are still well placed. But we need to turn draws into wins.”

Steve Cotterill had two new players in his side, two who had only joined the club in the two days before the game. “It was pleasing to have players come in and do so well on their debuts,” he said after seeing his side get a point, I was delighted at the manner of their performances.

“You don't quite know when you take a player of Eric Djemba-Djemba's stature, just how he is going to be. He hasn't played all season and we discussed before the game whether to give him the last half hour or the last 45 minutes. In the end he played the whole 90 minutes and it was the first thing he said when he came off.

“He and Mike Pollitt have come in and been first class. They have both settled in well and they both had to perform the ritual of a song for the rest of the lads on Friday. Mike sung Chris de Burgh's Lady in Red and Eric sung the Cameroon National Anthem. And both of them did well especially singing with a pepper pot.”

Onto the game he said: “It's an excellent point. Southampton have formidable home form and I thought the defence and even the boys in front of them worked hard for their clean sheet. We haven't had enough this season and we came here to try and get one.

“We knew it would be a tough game and two or three weeks ago we would have been beaten here. So this is a little upturn in our fortunes and we just have to make sure now that in the next couple of home games we can do our best to get maximum points.

“This is a very good point for us, but if we don't go and take it on then it is not such a good point.”