Returning midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin rued Southampton’s lack of a killer touch in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool.
The French international, who replaced Steven Davis at half time, turned in an assured second-half performance having overcome a groin injury that has kept him sidelined in recent weeks.
However, the Saints schemer was unable to help his side salvage a positive result from the game, and afterwards said he believes Southampton are missing that extra bit of quality that could have seen them over the line.
“We conceded a wonder goal by Coutinho, and then after we tried everything, but we lacked something today like we lacked something in the last couple of games at home – penetration, the last finish, the last cross – and we need to rectify that,” said the 25-year-old.
“It’s three games now and if you want to be in the top four, top five, these are games that we need to take some points off.
“We need to work hard in training, we need to work on those things, and then hopefully our strikers will be able to find the net.
“It’s just a patch where we need to score one goal, then things can go well again.”
Ronald Koeman’s side were shunted out of the Barclays Premier League top four after the defeat to the Reds, who moved to within a point of Saints.
Schneiderlin, though, refused to be too disheartened by the loss, and insisted that next weekend’s trip to West Brom will provide them with the perfect opportunity to bounce straight back into the Champions League places.
“We always say that what matters is at the end of the season. Now, of course, we are out of the top four, but next week if we win and other team lose we can get back in there, so we’re not worried about it.
“We’re just worried about getting back to the performance we want, even if today was not a bad performance – it was a good one – but we want to get back to winning ways.”
The seven-cap Frenchman has been limited to just one start since the turn of the year through injury, but is hopeful he’ll now be able to play more of a part as the season reaches its conclusion.
“I’m fully fit, it was a good thing for me today because I felt sharp, I felt good, so hopefully I can kick on,” he said.
“I can’t wait because I am hungry, because I missed a lot of football.”