Southampton boss Ronald Koeman was left to rue his side’s missed chances in the wake of their disappointing 1-1 Premier League draw with Aston Villa at St Mary’s.
The hosts had the bottom-placed visitors on the back foot in the first half, with Sadio Mane, Graziano Pelle, Jose Fonte and Dusan Tadic all going close, but still found themselves trailing at the break after Joleon Lescott scored from a corner.
Oriol Romeu eventually restored parity, also from a corner, with 17 minutes left, but Koeman’s men then squandered several decent opportunities to claim all three points, leaving the Dutchman deeply frustrated.
“Normally you don’t settle for one point at home,” he told Sky Sports. “We made it difficult for ourselves because we started well and had three or four big chances.
“But then the goal was for the other side and that made things more difficult.
“Straight after half-time we had some difficulties, but the boys showed great character to come back and I thought we deserved more given all the chances that we created during the whole match.
“But it’s about scoring goals and that was not the case for us today.”
The result extends the south-coast club’s winless run to four games in all competitions and Koeman revealed that their recent poor form had taken a psychological toll on his side.
“If you start so well and don’t score, it’s difficult,” he said. “If you are in this situation having suffered some defeats and you’re in at half-time 1-0 down even though you have played really well, it asks a lot about the mental strength of the team.
“But they showed a lot of strength mentally. We worked hard, got it back to 1-1 and did everything to win the game.
“Even last year when we went 4-0 up against Villa, we didn’t start as well as we started today. But it’s all about scoring and if you get the first one, then maybe you win the game. But that’s football.”
Koeman admitted that the nature of Villa’s opener had left him particularly disappointed.
“It’s the first time in two season that we’ve conceded from a corner,” he said. “That’s normally one of the strengths of the team and it’s something we’ll have to look to improve on again. It was a difficult knock for us just before half-time.”
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