Hughes: Game management must improve

By SFC Media time Mon 17 Sep Saints v Brighton
Photo by James Bridle | Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes has called on his side to improve their game management after watching late strikes from Shane Duffy and Glenn Murray cancel out Pierre-Emile Højbjerg’s drive and Danny Ings’s penalty at St Mary’s on Monday night.

Saints seemed in total control when Ings rolled in from the spot for his third goal of the season only for the visitors to rally and turn three points into one.

“We were only ever going to be beaten by a set play or a mistake or an awarding of a penalty and that’s unfortunately how it panned out,” he said.

“We were in total control of the game, certainly in the first half where they didn’t cause us any problems at all. You have to expect a reaction from the opposition when you dominate like that and don’t get out of sight and we dealt with it for the most part.

“We got the 2-0 lead and you expect that to be game over. They put a good ball into a good area and it got them back in the game and gave them encouragement.

“Had we kept the two-goal advantage for 10-15 minutes longer, I think we would have seen the game out comfortably. The momentum shifted and you have to be ready to take advantage when it goes in your favour or dig in when it goes the other way.”

Where the hosts succeeded in holding onto their lead at Crystal Palace two weeks previously, fortune went against them here in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

“We rode our luck against Palace and that little bit of fortune you need to see out games was just lacking tonight. In the end it’s a lesson learned, we need to be better in taking the sting out of teams and managing games to a winning conclusion and that’s been a difficulty for us.

“I think as a team we did okay but it in the key moments you need to make the right decisions and not give the opposition any encouragement; unfortunately we allowed them to get back in it.

“That’s the message we’ll be giving to the players; we need to be better in killing the game and being more street-wise. Overall, it’s a disappointing result but there are things we can work on.”


Saints held after letting two-goal lead slip
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