Under-23s coach Radhi Jaïdi said it was a humbling night for his young side on the road at Premier League 2 champions Everton on Friday.
Saints, who had a particularly young side on show, shipped eight goals, six in the second-half, having gone two goals up in the first period.
While explaining that the performance was far from characteristic for his youngsters, Jaïdi also accepted that the levels achieved against Everton were below expectation, and wants to see a quick reaction ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Forest Green Rovers.
“We have to hold our hands up tonight and say that the performance wasn’t good enough,” the Under-23s coach asserted. “Certainly the result was not good enough and everyone is very disappointed. We cannot hide from that.
“There are players that I expect better from, who just didn’t perform at the right level tonight.
“Everton are a good side who won the league last year and played with a lot of experience, compared to us who were very young.
“The circumstances were difficult, but still we didn’t give a good account of ourselves. The message has to be now that, from a development point of you, I expect the boys to react and bounce back very quickly.
“It was a very poor performance but we need to put it behind us quickly because we face Forest Green on Tuesday, who will be an even tougher test than Everton.”