Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has hinted he is considering making personnel changes in the wake of his side’s 2-0 home defeat against Tottenham.
Harry Kane and Dele Alli took advantage of poor defending from the home side to score two goals in three minutes shortly before the break, while at the other end, Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle were guilty of missing several fine chances.
The result extended Southampton’s winless streak to six games in all competitions and, having previously defended his players in public, Koeman now appears to be running out of patience.
“Normally I try to keep the criticism inside,” he said. “But after today, I think it is the moment to be critical also… because we have to change our mentality. And if we don’t change it, it will be a very long season.
“We also maybe need to change players because they are not responding to our strategy.
“One of my criticisms this season is that we are too nice people.
“Until the first goal, Southampton was the better team, but they [Tottenham] showed us what is a ‘killing mentality’.
“They won the battles and second balls and were more clever in one-on-one situations. It might also be about confidence, but we need to be more clinical. If you get three or four good chances, you have to score.”
Southampton remain in 12th place despite the result but, having failed to win since early November, are in danger of being dragged towards the bottom three.
And Koeman admitted that he is seriously concerned by his side’s ongoing slump.
“Of course I’m worried,” he said. “If you watch back how we defended for the first goal, you have to be worried.
“The defending was at an amateur level and not at the kind of level that you need to be winning games against teams like Tottenham.”
Next up for the struggling south coast side is a home clash with high-flying Arsenal on Saturday.