Everton boss Ronald Koeman lamented his side’s poor start as he was defeated in his first game at St Mary’s since leaving the club in the summer.
Charlie Austin struck for the hosts inside a minute, and Everton failed to respond despite periods of pressure, eventually succumbing to a 1-0 defeat to make it just one win in eight Premier League games.
Koeman made the move to Merseyside at the end of last season, something which is potentially beginning to look like a sideways move at best.
He said: “The start of Southampton in the game was better than our start, 1-0 so fast in the game makes it difficult.
“In my opinion, (we had) a good second half, much better than the first but that’s the problem, it’s how we start the game.
“It’s sometimes difficult to explain why. It was the kick-off of Everton and I think after 10 seconds we lost the ball and then they scored, 1-0.”
The Toffees put on a better showing in the second half, looking increasingly dangerous down the flanks, but failed to restore parity.
“I can’t complain about our second half. We put a lot of effort on the pitch but it’s difficult to score the goals at the moment.
“We need to work hard and start better, keep focused on improving and to have a performance like the second half and also have a bit of luck.”
Next up for Everton is the visit of Manchester United on Sunday 4 December, with pressure on both Koeman and Jose Mourinho to turn around fortunes for their respective clubs.