Kelvin Davis felt that Saints were shown what it takes to play like the team they are striving to become in the 2-0 defeat to Manchester City.
Despite Davis’s best efforts, goals in either half from the hosts were enough for City to take all three points from the last game of the season, and the club skipper explained why Manuel Pellegrini’s men were just too good for Saints on the day.
“We were disappointed with our first half performance because we allowed them a bit too much of the play,” Davis told youtube.com/southamptonfc
“We spoke about it at half-time and our second half performance warranted at least a goal. We had chances in the first half – didn’t take them, and when you come to Man City and don’t take chances, that happens.”
Davis - on his 300th appearance for the club - made three notable saves from City’s top scorer Sergio Agüero, and although the striker eventually netted one late on, the keeper had played his part in keeping Saints alive in the contest.
“You certainly want to get to half-time and be in a position to go on and win the game, and we did that. A couple of saves gave us an opportunity to push on, but it wasn’t to be,” he said.
“They’ve got professionals and they’re fantastic players who turned up today and it was always going to be a tough test, but if you don’t take your chances and you don’t defend then you concede to these teams. It was, I wouldn’t say unlucky, but certainly from us there’s more to come.”
Saints ended the season in seventh place, setting a new club record for the Premier League, but the possibility of finishing higher, still rankles with the squad according to Davis.
“There was a sense of underachievement in the dressing room going into the game, and beforehand we said where better to finish the season than Man City,” he explained.
“We could have been going to less attractive places to go and get three points and there’s been a couple of away games recently where we’ve come off the pitch thinking we should have done better. Yes, this season has been fantastic, but it says a lot about our group that in there we’re looking at the results and thinking that we probably should have performed better and taken our chances. We didn’t do that today and there’s that disappointment of not getting into the Europa League.”
Results elsewhere meant that had Saints won then they would have taken sixth place and taken qualification for Europe there and then, but Davis says that experience is what Saints can take on board for the future
“It’s a tough, tough pill to swallow, but what we are is a group in the dressing room that wants to learn and want to move forward and what a fantastic lesson for us to show what it takes to get into those top positions in the league,” he said.
“It’s another step forward and that’s how we see it. It’s safe to say that we’ve established ourselves in that part of the league and we’re looking to take the next step to keep progressing, we want to win things and see the club in the top level of the Premier League.”