NIGEL Adkins reckons Southampton proved they are a team heading in the right direction after they "dominated" Swansea City at St Mary's on Saturday.
Adkins was denied only a second win of the Premier League season after a defensive mess allowed Nathan Dyer to earn Swansea a point.
Dyer netted against his old club after 20-year-old former Gillingham keeper Paulo Gazzaniga played a short pass to Maya Yoshida.
He was dispossessed by Dyer, who raced through to level after Morgan Schneiderlin's clever header had put Southampton on course for all three points.
The draw eases some of the pressure on Adkins, who many suggested would be sacked last week.
It could have been so much better for the Saints after a disappointing Swansea performance but, as ever, Adkins was keen to stress the positives.
"Because of where we are in the division, obviously there is a lot of media attention on us at the moment," he said.
"But you look at the composure of the players. The shape was good, the way we passed the ball, the way we created opportunities, the way everyone stuck together — for such a young side that's very pleasing.
"We realise we have got to get results, but look at the performance and the character we've shown. That shows you that everyone is pulling in the same direction and that's important.
"Everyone's together at the football club and moving in the same direction, which is forward.
"We've dominated the game for long spells. Obviously Swansea are a very good passing side, and that was demonstrated in the first five minutes, but I thought we had a good defensive shape about us."
Southampton's troubles this season have been at the back — they have conceded 29 goals already in the league — yet they limited Swansea to very few opportunities this weekend.
Had Gazzaniga punted long rather than looked for Yoshida 17 minutes from time, the home side probably would have won the game.
But Adkins, who preferred the young Argentine to the far more experienced Artur Boruc and Kelvin Davis, refused to castigate his keeper.
"One unfortunate decision from a young goalkeeper has resulted in the ball in the back of our net, but there are a lot of positives that we've got to take from this game and we will do," he added.
"We could probably talk about individual errors in every game we have played this season.
"We have got a young goalkeeper who is getting better all the time and he will learn from that — it's about making the right decision at the right time. "Unfortunately Swansea have gone and capitalised, but we won't single any individuals out.
"I think when you look at the performance level of the team you can see we are improving all the time defensively. That's a positive — we are moving in the right direction."
Southampton had a handful of penalty shouts in the game, one of which saw Adam Lallana harshly booked for diving following a coming together with Ashley Williams.
Lallana tumbled again under a challenge from Garry Monk late on and, though Swansea's captain got a touch on the ball, the home side felt hard done by.
"There have been a few shouts. I have not seen the video footage back yet," Adkins said.
"The referee has got to make the decisions. I asked him after the game and he said there were no penalties. The disappointing thing is that Adam Lallana got booked for diving when there was a case for a penalty.
"We should have had a penalty at West Brom the other night, but we just have to keep getting in the area and giving the referee decisions to make."