Oriol Romeu felt Southampton paid the price for not being clinical enough, after falling to a 3-1 defeat to AFC Bournemouth at St Mary’s.
An unusually disappointing first-half display saw the visitors head into the break with a two-goal advantage, thanks to Nathan Ake’s powerful header and a Harry Wilson goal.
Saints rallied after the interval, but despite James Ward-Prowse’s penalty it was not enough; Callum Wilson adding gloss to the scoreline deep into injury time.
“The first-half wasn’t what we wanted. They were stronger, they were closer, they were getting second balls and hitting us with counter-attacks. They were playing the way we wanted to play them and they were clinical.
“We put ourselves 2-0 down at half-time and we wanted to react in second-half. We got one back, we were closer and we chances but we were not clinical.
“That’s something, especially in this league, you have to have otherwise it’s very difficult to get points.”
Ryan Bertrand replaced Kevin Danso at the break as Ralph Hasenhüttl looked to help inspire a memorable comeback.
And Romeu felt that tactical switch allowed them to build second-half momentum until the killer blow in stoppage time.
“We changed systems. Ryan came in and gave us more depth down the left. We could attack better from both sides and I think that pushed them back,” he added.
“Then we were also stronger I would say, winning duels and second balls. They could barely come out from any contest so that reaction was positive but the first-half wasn’t good enough.
“We know how they (Bournemouth) are and how they play. We were ready for it but sometimes things don’t fall the way you want to see them and that’s football.
“They surprise you with so many different things and you have to be ready for it. I’m sure we’ll react and do better.
“We have a massive one now ahead and we’re all very excited about that game to get back to winning feelings and sensations and to start building something good again.”