Martin on “unacceptable” defeat

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Russell Martin was left to reflect on a nightmare ending in Cardiff as the hosts struck a late winner to dent Saints’ promotion hopes before Stuart Armstrong was then stretched off with a serious looking injury.

On the back of three straight victories at St Mary’s, Saints crossed the border in a buoyant mood, only enhanced by Joe Aribo’s opener after just 12 minutes.

Creating an abundance of chances in the opening 45 minutes, the only criticism could be that the lead was only one, something that would come back to haunt the visitors.

And it did on 69 minutes when Famara Diedhiou levelled it up, before deep into stoppage time Cian Ashford’s shot took a wicked deflection to stun Saints into a costly defeat.

“It’s ridiculous we lose that game,” Martin remarked. “It’s madness. It should’ve been four or five nil at half time. I don’t think anyone can argue with that.

“We don’t take our chances, then had some brilliant ones in the second half, so if you’re not going to finish the game off and be really ruthless and clinical and have real conviction in the opposition box and then defend our box properly, they create very, very little and they put it in the box twice and score two goals.

“We have no choice but to react now and I feel really disappointed for the away fans, they were great.

“To be so dominant for so long and to lose the game, and not just dominant with the ball but chances, the amount of good chances we had, is unacceptable to lose.”

On Armstrong, the Saints boss added: “It’s a bad one. We’ll have to wait and see but he’s going to be out for the rest of the season.”