Fraser: Stoke defeat "not good enough"

Live Matchday Images/2023-24/20240427 Southampton vs Stoke/106A2290_364ad530-537f-45e0-8a4d-3a75187231fc_20240427033412_mz8ho3

Ryan Fraser admitted Southampton’s performance in the defeat to Stoke “wasn’t good enough” and says levels must improve for the upcoming Sky Bet Championship play-offs.

Saints were beaten by a solitary first-half strike from Tyrese Campbell nine minutes before the interval, as Russell Martin’s side failed to score at St Mary’s for the first time since September.

Fraser felt the display was the result of a loss of form at the worst possible time, as Saints followed up three successive wins that propelled them back into automatic promotion contention with a third defeat in a row, ensuring they are now certain to finish fourth.

“It wasn’t good enough, but I think that’s come from the last, maybe four weeks, not being good enough,” he said. “We’ve faltered a bit when we’ve got into the end stage and it’s not a good feeling.

“I think that’s crept into our game and we’re trying to get it out of our game, but at the minute it’s not been great.

“It doesn’t feel good right now. I just feel there was a stage where we came back into second place, but we faltered as a team.

“We got a little bit lucky with the other results and we climbed up again, but then we faltered with results again, so we really need to learn from it because we don’t have a lot of time now.

“You never want to lose, but it’s best losing now. I know fans might think ‘we shouldn’t lose’ – I understand that, but we’d rather lose than now than in three games’ time.

“We need to reset, we need to come together as a team and just give everything. We’re giving everything, but it just seems to be some things are off at the minute – I don’t know if that’s pressure, I don’t know if it’s anxiety, I’m not too sure, but we need to reset and go from there, and give our all next week in training.”