Saints lacking in confidence - boss
A lack of confidence cost Southampton victory against Crystal Palace on Tuesday night, according to Mauricio Pellegrino.
Shane Long's first goal in 325 days had given Saints the lead at St Mary's although during the second half they played with so little conviction that the visitors recovered to win via finishes from James McArthur and Luka Milivojevic.
Their latest defeat left Southampton in 17th and the club's supporters chanting for Pellegrino's dismissal although despite insisting he does not fear for his job, the Argentinian recognised a wider dysfunction in his team.
"It was a difficult night because it changed completely in the second half, when we showed another face in the first half," said Pellegrino, whose predecessor Claude Puel was sacked after last season's eighth-placed finish.
"We gave them the possibility to be in the game, and played five metres deeper in the second half and gave Palace (a chance) with every single long ball. We never read the game and the conditions.
"It's the lack of confidence; sometimes we'd pass backwards, just to pass the time, because you want to keep the result. The lack of confidence affects everything and we have to react because we're in a difficult moment."
Nick Harris is a long-standing journalist who specialises in football and rugby league. An avid golfer, Nick also follows the major boxing fights closely.