Nathan Jones feels he will learn a lot from his first Premier League game as a manager, as his Southampton debut in the dugout ended in a 3-1 defeat at Anfield.
Hosts Liverpool took an early lead through Roberto Firmino’s sixth-minute header, but Saints responded immediately through Ché Adams’s equaliser.
A brace from Darwin Núñez gave the Reds a commanding half-time advantage and that’s the way it stayed, but Jones was encouraged by Saints’ second-half performance, as Alisson was the busier keeper in thwarting Mohamed Elyounoussi, Samuel Edozie and Ché Adams.
“First half we were too passive – we won’t be that passive again,” he said. “I promised an aggressive nature, in terms of going after things, and we will be more aggressive in the future – I want us to work on that.
“Second half I thought we had a real good reaction in terms of the players that came on, in terms of the way we went about it. We should’ve scored second half, we had a few chances, but there’s a bit of work to do.”
Núñez’s second goal, three minutes before the interval, left Saints with a mountain to climb in the second period, but Jones was buoyed by the way his new team kept fighting.
“A lot of teams could fold from there and go under, but we showed real character, real quality, and I’m pleased with that,” he continued.
“The younger ones did as well. It was a young team, it needs certain things, but I’m really, really pleased with the reaction.
“Nowhere near pleased with the result because I don’t like losing games, albeit at one of the toughest places in Europe to come.
“They’re world-class players everywhere, threats everywhere, but it’s a real good learning curve, but I’m really pleased with certain elements. I know there’s a lot of work to do but I also know I’ve got a lot of tools moving forward.”