Rubén Sellés believes Southampton did not give themselves the best chance of taking a positive result from Elland Road after watching his Saints side fall to a 1-0 defeat against Leeds.
Junior Firpo scored the only goal of the game 13 minutes from time after Leeds worked their way out of a tight spot down by the corner flag.
Sellés felt the winning goal summed up the day, saying Saints did not press the hosts closely enough, also ruing his side’s use of the ball in possession.
“Before the game, we talked about giving us the possibility to perform at our highest level, and then if we perform at our highest level we can win the football match. We didn’t win today and it didn’t happen,” he reflected.
“We were not near in the pressure, we allowed them to play in front of us, to find the lines of passes so we end up defending too deep – much deeper than we would like. We tried to adjust but perhaps it was a little bit too late.
“At the end of the day, we need to have more control in possession. We didn’t find the lines and the game was a little bit disappointing from all of us.
“We know it’s football – anything can happen. We can lose football matches, but we need to try to keep our identity every time on the pitch.
“For us, as a team, we need to find better triggers for the boys to perform, to find better positions to apply that first pressure, to protect our own goal, and we need to give us a better opportunity to play in possession, especially when we win the ball.
“Perhaps the message was not clear enough. I need to rethink if some of the other things that we had in the week need to be more direct or communicated in a different way.”
On the game’s decisive moment, Sellés added: “It was frustrating because I think our strength is to make the last step. We allowed too much in that action to be a bit too close to our own goal, and it’s a behaviour we need to review.
“I think it was in the line of the game – we were not making the last step, we didn’t show levels of aggression and we allowed that because we didn’t control the ball in possession.
“We were playing too long, too direct into our strikers, and we should have more control in those situations. We should read the pressure, we should have more calmness, and we should continue working on the process, because the work in the last two weeks has been fantastic.”