Nigel Adkins is confident that Saints have what it takes to string some good results together, but admits he was disappointed with the manner of the loss to West Brom.
The manager felt that his side’s approach to the game was spot on and was left frustrated by a combination of sloppy goals and a poor decision from the match officials.
“If you look at the first goal we've conceded, it's a blatant handball,” he bemoaned.
“The fourth official tried to tell the referee four times and he didn't react to it, but you've got to have a desire to close the man down before he has a shot. At one-nil we were still in the game and we had a couple of opportunities – Rickie Lambert hit the crossbar and the goalkeeper has made a couple of saves.
“The [second] goal was shocking. We've talked about them being very good on the counter-attack, so they get the ball and their first thought is to look forward.
“We've got two centre-halves against one [attacker] on the half-way line, and they got it into the channel too easily. We allowed him (Long) to get the ball onto his right foot and cross it, and the lad has gone and scored even though we're actually marking him.
“We can look back, but what we've got to do is look forward. We've got to work hard on the training ground consistently and make them believe in themselves. We've got to keep a solid unit and keep together because it's easy to knock people's confidence. We've got to face the facts that we have conceded too many poor goals, so we've got to get a stability and a consistent defence.”
Prior to the game, Nigel was encouraged by what he saw on the training ground and was given a further boost by the return to fitness of Gaston Ramirez - who completed 75 minutes on his return to action – but despite the result, Adkins was defiant in turning Saints’ fortunes around.
“It has been a really good week's training,” he affirmed. “Yesterday the lads looked sharp and up-for-it, and there was a confidence that we were going to come here and get a victory – but we haven't done.
“You've just got to keep grinding away at it and staying in the game. We'll keep working away, and it'll eventually turn.
“I don't want to go anywhere. I'm determined to be a success at Southampton Football Club and determined to lead from the front. I have a desire to put a team out that will give our supporters a winning team. I want us to play football, but I've got to win. It's not nice because we're bottom of the league, but I'm determined and I'll do everything I can for Southampton Football Club to turn it into a success.
“We've played ten games, eight of which have been against opposition in the top ten, but it doesn't matter who you play because every game is going to be challenging in the Premier League. This is the reality and this is where we are.”
The gaffer went over to thank the fantastic travelling support after the game after another fruitless trip away from home, and he praised the efforts of those who made the journey and that were so vocal throughout.
“Home and away, I always go over because the supporters have been magnificent to me,” he said.
“They pay hard-earned cash, make noise and get behind the team. That's what supporters do, even more so when things are against them.
“They were outstanding [tonight] and they have been behind me all the way through, so I thank them for that. Everything we do is to put a smile on the supporters' faces by winning games of football.”