Southampton’s Theo Walcott highlighted a sloppy start to the second half during the defeat to Crystal Palace at St Mary’s on Saturday.

Eberechi Eze netted a second half brace in a result which left Saints rooted to the bottom of the table after a third successive defeat.

“We needed to get the first goal,” said an honest Walcott, “obviously I had a really, really good chance, should have done a lot better, then it’s a different game.

“We played pretty well first half considering to be honest, I don’t think [Palace] challenged us too much. But we lost our way second half. Not sure why we didn’t keep to our principles.

“We let them run away with the game, we didn’t create a lot second half and then when they get the second it’s an uphill battle.

“First goals are really important in games and we didn’t get that today. Then we didn’t recover second half, we started very sloppy and that set the tone.

“We need to move on again quickly, we’ve got a very big game [coming up], obviously they’re all big now but we need to do that cliché of focusing on the next game. There’s still another three points to play for and that’s all we can do now as players.”