Radhi Jaïdi felt Southampton’s Under-23s made hard work for themselves after letting a 1-0 lead slip in their 3-1 defeat to Arsenal in Premier League 2 action on Monday.
Saints took a first half lead through Jonathan Afolabi’s well-taken strike for an advantage which they held until half time, but a second-half fight-back from the visitors saw the Gunners take all three points.
It was the manner in which the hosts conceded the goals though, which left U23s assistant coach Jaïdi frustrated.
“It’s difficult,” he acknowledged.
“There’s disappointment because when you go into the changing room at half time and you’re winning 1-0 we said to the boys that they need to be right and to keep doing the right stuff that we had done in the first half with distances and not defending deep.
“We were getting into good recovery positions with some good interceptions. We dealt with their movement and rotation in the wide areas through their seven and eleven when they came on, so you expected us to stay on the front foot and create more chances to take control of the game, but it didn’t happen – we conceded a really sloppy goal – and I think some of the boys’ individual performances especially in the second half, was less, and that’s what we had to deal with.”
The visitors struck all three goals inside the last half hour of play, but Jaïdi thought even at 2-1 down, there was an opportunity for his side.
“I don’t think Arsenal were better than we expected, so it was all about us to concede three goals,” he said.
“All three goals were our mistakes. At 2-1 you expect a reaction, but we’ve given away a third goal and that’s killed us in the last ten minutes.
“You have to accept it and it’s a learning curve for some of the younger boys, but we need to keep working with them, keep de-briefing with all the staff to repair it, and hopefully on Friday which is not far away, we will be competing and challenging again.”