Southampton boss Nigel Adkins ‘expected’ his side to beat Leeds United in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup.
Instead, strikes from Michael Tonge, El-Hadji Diouf and Luciano Becchio earned the Yorkshiremen a 3-0 win on Tuesday, and condemning the Saints to their eighth defeat of the season.
Adkins made 11 changes following Sunday’s loss to Tottenham, however the move did not pay off as they produced a lacklustre effort against Neil Warnock’s side, who deservedly moved into the quarter-finals.
“It was a poor result for us,” Adkins told the club’s official website.
“The mindset before the game was to be very positive. Tadanari Lee, Emmanuel Mayuka and Steve De Ridder are blessed with an outstanding amount of pace so the objective was to get on the front foot by utilising that and getting in behind.
“It was a very attacking formation on paper, but on the pitch you have got to go and produce it.
“You’re playing for Southampton Football Club, so every game matters. We’ve got supporters who have travelled, and we’ve put a team out that I expected to win this game.
“I expect the players to go and perform, so there’s obviously going to be consequences of the result and performance for many people.
“We’ve come out to win a game of football – on paper and in theory that was possible, but we haven’t produced.”
Adkins insisted that he must take ‘full responsibility’ for the loss after the vast changes to personnel, and is wary of lasting damage to morale as the club look to climb out of the Premier League’s relegation zone.
“I have to take full responsibility for the team that goes out and all it’s done,” he said.
“I’ve made changes because we played 48 hours ago, and you can talk about the recovery process all day long – the last thing you want to do is lose players for long periods of time.
“We’ve got to make sure that we address anything that is going wrong in any way we can for the sake of this football club, because that’s what it’s about.”