Bella-Kotchap: We need to keep our heads up

2022-23/Matchdays/20230430 Newcastle vs Southampton/MW_Newcastle_Southampton_086_qgm7gj

Southampton defender Armel Bella-Kotchap spoke about a tale of two halves during the Premier League defeat at Newcastle on Sunday.

Saints made five changes to the side beaten by Bournemouth on Thursday; two of those combining to take the lead on 41 minutes as Stuart Armstrong converted from a Kamaldeen Sulemana cross.

Newcastle made a switch at the break bringing on top scorer Callum Wilson, who equalised nine minutes later.

The game flipped on its head soon after, a Theo Walcott own goal and Wilson’s second of the afternoon cementing the win.

“I think we had a good first half, the second half was really tough,” admitted the German. “We deserved the lead from the first half but during the second it was really tough for us.

“They played on the front foot and tried to bring the crowd into it. It was a really tough game against a great opponent and they deserved the win.

“I think we tried to defend and they played more front footed, with quality. They brought two strikers in. It’s tough, it’s tough to defend against these strikers.

“But we knew that and should have done better. The quality from them was really good today and that’s why they won. We need to keep our heads up and just go game-by-game and see what the outcome is."