Mauricio Pochettino conceded that the 3-0 defeat to West Brom was the worst performance of his tenure as Saints manager.
A forgettable loss at St Mary’s was compounded by two red cards for the hosts as both Gastón Ramírez and Danny Fox saw red in the second 45, which was made worse by goals from Romelu Lukaku and Shane Long after Marc-Antoine Fortuné had given the Baggies a first-half lead.
“It is clear to me that West Brom were better than us today and I can’t really say anything other than that,” Pochettino told Saints Player after the game.
“That is the worst defeat since I have been here in Southampton. The team didn’t show any positive aspects, which makes it the worst defeat in over three months.
“We weren’t really in the game from the start and that is what happens when you are not. When we conceded the goal in the sixth minute we just started having problems – we were against a current and not able to get hold of the game.
“We conceded a goal from a corner and then became really nervous and anxious and weren’t able to recover from that. Nothing was working for us today and basically we weren’t on the ball.”
The gaffer didn’t place any of the blame on the dismissals of the two players, but admitted that he hadn’t had the best view of the incidents.
“I did not see them clearly and I need to see the reviews on the TV before I can comment properly,” he said.
“In the first half Jack Cork could have gone off as well for two yellow cards so it is something I need to review.
“From my point of view on the pitch it is very hard to see what has happened.
“There were other incidents that occurred during the match that could have also meant a red card or a yellow card at least, so we will review that but more importantly we need to review our performance today.
“We weren’t very good today and need to correct our mistakes.”
Pochettino vowed to quickly put right the wrongs from the performance, and believes his side’s true character will return.
“We have to learn from this,” he acknowledged. “It has been a real tough defeat and we didn’t think that we would be defeated in such a way. We need to be intelligent, learn from this result and learn from our mistakes.
“The team was not showing any of the negative signs that we have seen today through the week. I think we were uncomfortable from the beginning and I think overall we have just had a complete blackout today.
“We have shown a side of ourselves which is completely opposed to who we really are.”