Anthony Limbrick felt Saints Under-18s needed to show more of a clinical edge in both boxes after defeat to West Brom on Friday afternoon.
A goal from Samir Nabi was the difference between the two in a tight Barclays Under-18 Premier League encounter that Limbrick’s side shaded for long periods.
But a mistake in their own penalty area led to the goal and a lack of finishing touch in the final third meant the visitors took all three points home with them.
Speaking to youtube.com/southamptonfc, Limbrick said: “Compared to last Friday [against Chelsea] we probably had a better performance. I thought we passed the ball better, played through the thirds quite well and switched the play.
“We created a lot of chances without them actually being clear-cut. We got the ball into the box from dangerous areas, Josh Debayo was lively down the left-hand side.
“We got a lot of good balls into the area but missed that bit of composure and clinical finishing in the first half. The second half was quite tight, but we passed the ball better.
“It was a little bit of a mistake in the box for their goal which was a shame because I think they scored it when they didn’t deserve it. We needed to be more clinical in both boxes.
“We needed to defend better for the goal and then needed to put away a couple of chances ourselves. If we keep working hard to get the ball into those areas, there’s no doubt we’ll get goals.”
While Limbrick was slightly disappointed with his side’s response to going a goal down, he insisted there were plenty of positives to take into Tuesday night’s FA Youth Cup tie against West Ham United.
That included the return of top goalscorer Marcus Barnes, who featured for the final 20 minutes against the Baggies on his comeback from injury.
He added: “We’d like to have seen more of a reaction to the goal but we failed to really get going again. Having said that we still got the ball in the box a fair few times.
“We’ll watch it over, see what the reason was. In the last 15 minutes they were clever, it was hard for us to get the ball back. Maybe the goal knocked our confidence a little bit.
“Marcus was lively in the last 20 minutes, it was good for him to come back. He’s scored the bulk of our goals so I know he’s desperate to get back and have an input for us on Tuesday night.
“There are plenty of positives. If you look at the scoreline you’d think we played better against Chelsea but I thought we were better today. In a tight game we were unlucky not to get something, if not get the win.”