Martin: Coventry win answered some tough questions

Live Matchday Images/2023-24/20240409 Southampton vs Coventry/AY5I2717_cqcjiw

Russell Martin felt his Southampton team answered some questions with their performance and application in the 2-1 win over Coventry at St Mary’s.

Saints raced into a 2-0 half-time lead after Haji Wright’s early penalty miss, with Ché Adams claiming both goals, before the Sky Blues pulled one back midway through the second period and pushed for a late leveller.

Martin’s side had chances to put the game to bed, but showed their strength of character to see the job through against the play-off chasing visitors.

“There was a lot of really, really good stuff. The resilience of the team, the togetherness, the character, the energy we played with – especially in the first half,” the manager reflected.

“I think we should’ve had one or two more goals tonight, we should’ve come to a bit more in some of those moments, because it was really outstanding in some of the football we played.

“Then they had a spell in the second half, 15 minutes or so, which hurts us, because they score. They’re a good team and you have to sometimes respect that the opposition will have a spell, but I felt we were too loose on the ball at that point.

“They’re a good side with real attacking threat who we’ve limited to very little – I think two shots on target, which is not normal for them.”

Martin admitted he had also questioned his players in the build-up to the game after going three without a win in a crucial period of the season, but was delighted with the response.

“The team showed tonight what we were lacking on Saturday in terms of energy and willingness to run and double up and help your teammate,” he added.

“I said to them before the game, it’s getting tiring hearing people question – which I can understand after the last few results – the mentality of the group and the togetherness.

“I questioned on Saturday, and in the media yesterday, how willing we were to run, and we certainly answered that tonight, so I’m really delighted with that.

“We have to build from that, and keep building. The results again tonight have shown how many twists and turns there are going to be, and it probably makes the last week even more frustrating, because to only have two points from the three previous games is crazy.

“I think tonight will really help – that win just releasing a bit of tension with the players, and they ran free tonight and they ran wild in the final third, and we have to keep doing that.”

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