Martin: We need to find the right balance

Live Matchday Images/2023-24/20240406 Blackburn vs Southampton/AY5I0309_7bec8c9c-62a6-4c62-a74c-166fed22cad4_20240406044156_gs2e7c

Russell Martin was left with mixed feelings after Southampton’s first goalless draw of the season.

Saints came closest to scoring through Joe Aribo’s 25th-minute header that struck the crossbar, but were ultimately held at Ewood Park by a hard-working Blackburn team.

Martin was pleased with the clean sheet and his side’s mentality to defend, but admitted that came at the expense of some of Saints’ usual attacking threat.

“Frustrated that we don’t win, frustrated that we don’t score, that we don’t create more,” he reflected.

“On the other hand, I’m really delighted with the mentality to defend properly – we spoke about the importance of that after the goals recently that we’ve conceded.

“We’ve scored and created so much in the last few weeks, but conceded too many, so we did some real work defensively this week on the mentality of the team to defend, and so much of that was brilliant.

“Although we didn’t have to do it a huge amount, when we did, we did it brilliantly. We keep a clean sheet, which I’m really pleased about, but then the balance of the game wasn’t quite there so we don’t look as much of a threat.

“We didn’t create as much, but we had two massive chances we should score and we don’t, so that’s the frustration against tough opposition coming off the back of a great result at the weekend – they’re fighting like dogs, they ran so hard, we matched them in every bit of energy and fight, but I’m frustrated we didn’t have the quality to unlock a bit more and create a bit more.

“I’m really delighted with the clean sheet and we need to build off that now, and make sure there’s a balance in the game where we can bring both.

“If we can bring that mentality to fight and run for each other with the performance on Monday, if you bring the creativity and quality we had in that game (against Ipswich), and bring both sides of the game, then it’s going to be a powerful finish.”

Viewing this page on a mobile device? Download the Saints app for all the latest news, feature videos and interactive content to get you closer to the action!

Open the Saints app today!