Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was honest as he spoke to the media following his side’s poor display in their 3-0 loss at West Brom on Monday.
But for a brief spell at the beginning of the second-half, Saints were second best and Hasenhuttl admitted that what he saw was not ideal preparation for their FA Cup Semi-Final next weekend.
Speaking to BBC Sport, he said:
"“We missed everything that is normally part of our game. When you make it that easy for your opponent it is not a surprise you are 2-0 down.“We are all responsible for performances like this. If we play like this we have no chance on Sunday. This was a chance to get some self confidence ahead of the weekend. We didn’t take it.”"
Southampton continue to struggle against teams who replicate them
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s style is all about winning the ball back, being physical and aiming to be ruthlessly efficient when chances are created.
More from Saints Marching
- Grading the Southampton Transfer Window Part 2: Arrivals
- Grading the Southampton Transfer Window Part 1: Departures
- It’s time to talk about Gavin Bazunu
- Rain clouds on the horizon? Southampton beat Plymouth Argyle
- A lament for Southampton legend James Ward-Prowse
Good numbers are committed to each attack and chances often come from central positions. When teams press Saints and try to replicate this style against them though, they really struggle.
We only need to look at how West Brom claimed their win on Monday to see that this is the case.
All three goals came about after intense and determined play from the Baggies. Confident, often direct passing into the gaps between the stretched back four of Saints caused problems and got Matt Phillips, Matheus Pereira and Callum Robinson into dangerous areas feeding off of Mbaye Diagne.
Saints also lost duels in the lead up to the penalty being won and the second and third goals. Premier League football is all about winning individual battles on the pitch or at least matching your opponents, and Hasenhuttl’s side just could not come up with the answers on the day.
Against Leicester on Sunday, they will need to significantly up their game if they are to stand any chance of making it to the FA Cup Final. The Foxes have a more talented squad on paper, but they will be trying to expose Saints in exactly the same way that many teams, and now West Brom, have done.