Ralph Hasenhüttl was left disappointed after seeing his side fall to a 3-1 defeat to Newcastle United in the Premier League at St. James’ Park.
Saints headed into half-time trailing 2-0 after quickfire goals from Ayoze Perez put the hosts firmly in control.
And despite a double switch to introduce Stuart Armstrong and Mario Lemina, as well as a change of shape, shifting the momentum and seeing the latter of those two halve the deficit, Hasenhüttl was left to reflect on defeat when Perez completed his hat-trick late on.
“It was an intense game. First-half we were not able to stop them. After 20 minutes, it seemed we got out of the pressure but then there was the situation with the corner and a counter-attack against us, where we made a foul,” he began.
“We were a little bit lucky it was only a yellow in this moment but then the crowd was loud and their team was very aggressive. We were sitting on the back foot and it was not good enough today.
“I have to say it, in the first-half it was too calm, too slow and not aggressive enough. In that way, you can’t play in the Premier League because you have no chance.
“The opponent was very good today, very aggressive and physical. We had no chance to keep the ball and that creates pressure sometimes.
“That was why we changed so much at half-time by taking off two players and the shape. You normally do if you have the feeling that nothing works. In the second-half we were coming back from 2-0 down but against such a team in this stadium it is not easy to come back.
“We tried everything and had a few chances for an equaliser. We played very well in the second-half but it was too late.”