Southampton Under-21 boss Martin Hunter felt Chelsea showed a more clinical edge in their victory at St Mary’s on Thursday night.
The Blues ran out 2-0 victors thanks to goals from Kasey Palmer and Dominic Solanke and Hunter felt the visitors were more confident in their play throughout.
“It was very disappointing, Hunter told youtube.com/southamptonfc. “We never got up ahead of steam. We played in patches.
“Their first goal was really good but the number of times we got into the final third in the first half and had a poor cross or final ball was infuriating.
“We demand higher standards and the euphoria of the cup may have something to do with that but we said in the pre-brief that the games are coming thick and fast now.
“Chelsea had a younger team than us and they were more clinical than we were when they gained possession. They were more dynamic and definitely ran the middle of the field.
“The period of play up to the first game was us giving the ball away. We talked about their pace up front and what they can do and that’s what happened.”
Substitutes Josh Sims and Marcus Barnes both had chances late on with the score at 1-0 to draw level for Saints, but found themselves denied by a resolute Chelsea defence.
The decisive second goal came courtesy of a defensive error which left Hunter disappointed for the impressive Will Britt in goal.
“Josh and Marcus wanted to run behind the opposition and they have got a bit of pace and guile which was important,” Hunter added.
“We had three good chances late on. Barnes has had one and Simsy has had two, then obviously it’s a mistake for their second goal.
“It’s all about composure and knowing the different stages. They managed the game better than we did.
“Will was good, he made a few good saves but that goal was from our throw-in, so it was an awful way to concede the second goal.”