Oriol Romeu says Southampton must improve quickly to avoid being worked out by teams who adapt to Saints’ new high-intensity approach.
Saints had won back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since April 2017 before hosting West Ham at St Mary’s, scoring six goals in the process, but struggled to hit the same heights against the Hammers.
Despite breaking the deadlock through Nathan Redmond’s opener early in the second half, Felipe Anderson’s quick-fire brace turned the match in favour of the visitors.
“It was a big disappointment – we wanted to get a third win today and feel like we were going forward with the positive games we’ve had recently, but we didn’t,” Romeu said.
“There are things we haven’t done well that we have done in the previous games, and I think now teams know better what we’re going to do.
“They are more prepared, so we need to step up our game and quickly improve those little things.
“In the last two games, when we recovered the ball we could go forward quicker and hurt them a lot more, but today they were ready and didn’t allow us to go as quickly.
“Stopping us the way they did, we weren’t able to create many chances. That’s one of the problems we need to look at to make sure in the next games we are in better positions to go forward.”
Saints’ lead lasted just three minutes, while Anderson was scoring his second within nine minutes of Redmond’s deadlock breaker.
“It was disappointing to concede quickly in the way we did – a shot from distance that was way too easy, and then a counter-attack when they were running from their own box,” Romeu added.
“We should be the ones creating a chance from our corner. They got back in the game in ten minutes, which is not something you can allow in this league.”