Martin Hunter was left disappointed with Southampton Under-23s’ performance during their Premier League 2 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park.
The Toffees sealed victory with goals from Liam Walsh and Kieran Dowell to move six points clear at the top of the table, though Hunter feels Saints didn’t give a good account of themselves.
“It’s a great disappointment,” he started.
“You can understand why they are top of the league by a good margin, they are a very good team and I have to say we could not cope with them.
“Especially in the first half when they created numerous chances. In the second half we played in sporadic periods, but nothing like as well as we would like.”
It took the hosts just four minutes to take the lead in the encounter, as Walsh finished neatly past Harry Lewis in the Saints goal.
And Hunter pinpointed the slow start as one of the main factors for defeat.
“If you let them start as they can do it becomes very tough,” he continued.
“That is one of the things we talked about, the importance of starting both halves brightly, especially here. They are a good team but we expect higher standards from our players.
“We have young players who have aspirations to go on and train with the first team, but they are going to have to do better than that to give them a chance to move up the ladder.”