Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl believes a couple of fundamentals need changing if they are to pull themselves out of their current slump.
Sunday’s 2-1 home loss to Brighton was Saints 10th Premier League defeat in 12 outings. They sit 14th in the table and are seven points clear of the relegation zone.
However, things could be even worse but for a stellar first half of the campaign. The south-coast outfit won seven and drew two of their first 12 games and were sixth in the standings on January 4.
It has been a tale of woe since then, with a 9-0 thrashing at Manchester United the low point. They did manage to beat bottom club Sheffield United on March 6.
But, other than a draw with Chelsea last month, it has been defeat after defeat. Hasenhuttl was hoping to get something out of Sunday’s derby but pulled no punches in his assessment of the display.
“We had a not so good start,” he told BBC Sport. “We came back a bit better, with a few chances, but in the second half the opponent wanted it more and we have to be self critical about it because it was by far one of the worst games we have played this season.
“It is time to work on a few basic fundamentals in the next weeks. The second goal gave them a lift. After we did not have a solution, only one chance at the end. But in total it was not enough to deserve a point today.”
Hasenhuttl left scratching his head
Southampton were strong at St Mary’s before the turn of the year. Only both Manchester clubs and Tottenham lowered their colours on home soil.
The beat both Everton and Liverpool on their own patch. But that victory over Jurgen Klopp’s side on January 4 is their last success at home.
The Austrian tactician knows that it is an area he has to address. And he was scathing in his assessment of the way his charges are operating.
“I can remember we were one of the best home teams at the beginning of the season, what has happened in the second half we have to answer the question ourselves,” he added.
“We are not hungry enough and the basics are missing at the moment which makes it very difficult to win games.”
Next up in the league is the visit of Burnley on April 3. Before then, they will travel down the coast to Bournemouth for an FA Cup quarter-final clash on March 20.
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