Southampton boss Nigel Adkins was happy with their performance in defeat at Manchester City.

The Saints threatened a major upset at one point at the Etihad as goals from substitutes Rickie Lambert and Steven Davis put them 2-1 ahead following Carlos Tevez's first-half opener.

But Edin Dzeko levelled and Samir Nasri grabbed the winner ten-minutes from time, but Adkins was not downhearted.

"We've played against the new champions. Our defenders have just played against the best forward line they've ever played in their lives and I think manfully they've put a good performance in today," Adkins told Sky Sports 1HD.

"I think they only conceded 12 goals at home last season. We've just scored two against them today.

"We knew it was going to be challenging but I thought we utilised the group of players we have intelligently to try and get something from the game.

"I give great credit to our players, they've put a shift in again. I think that's going to give us a lot of belief and we have to find ways to win games of football.

"We've got to be intelligent to give ourselves an opportunity to win because that's what ultimately it's about."