An emotional Pierre-Emile Højbjerg urged his team-mates to “step up in every aspect of the game” following their 3-0 defeat to Newcastle at St James’ Park.
The midfielder, speaking shortly after the full-time whistle, expressed his frustration at Saints’ showing, a performance that “wasn’t fair” on the 1600 travelling supporters and vowed that something must be done to turn fortunes around in the remaining nine matches of the Premier League season.
“I don’t like to words to say sorry but it is the only thing we can say at the moment on behalf of the players to the fans that have come a long way in great numbers to support us.
"To everyone that showed up in a Southampton shirt, it’s not fair to them or to ourselves. Everyone needs to look in the mirror and ask what they can do for the team, just in the next game to get a result, let’s not speak about staying up.
With eight games remaining and an FA Cup quarter-final trip to Wigan beforehand, Højbjerg has called on his and the supporters’ frustrations to be translated into an immediate improvement on the field.
“I’m very disappointed and angry with myself and as a team it’s just not good enough. You can blame other things but it’s just not good enough. We stand here as a group and we didn’t succeed today, that is the fact. We have to be in the Premier League but the reality speaks for itself.
“It doesn’t mean the big picture is broken; luckily – and this is the good side of football - we have a new possibility to show that we are better than this. We need to step up, in every aspect of the game.”