James Ward-Prowse admitted defeat at Sparta Praha was difficult to take, especially with such an impressive away following at the Generali Arena.
Saints fans were in fine voice throughout on a very disappointing night for Claude Puel’s men, as they slipped to defeat against the Czech outfit.
Ward-Prowse, who came back from injury and started the game, was frustrated to concede in the manner Saints did, allowing Sparta to sit back and soak up the pressure.
“The one thing that has been constant in Europe is the great support and the following that we have had,” Ward-Prowse told southamptonfc.com.
“We wish we could have got the win against Sparta, especially for the fans, but it wasn’t to be.
“Of course we wanted to win the game and get the job done, but we have to use this a very important learning experience. It’s obviously not the result we wanted.
“They made it very difficult for us. It was a sloppy goal from our standards to concede and it’s something we need to work on.
“They made it very difficult and were always going to be happy with the one-goal advantage, so that made it tougher for us.”
Southampton will now need to win, or draw 0-0, with Hapoel Be’er Sheva in their final Group K match, and Ward-Prowse says the team must be ready for a big night.
“We are disappointed not to have won the game, but now we have to perform against Hapoel at St Mary’s to ensure we go through,” he added.
“We have to try and make St Mary’s a fortress for when they visit. We’ve done well in Europe at home, and we need to try and make sure we put this result right.”