Jack Stephens has admitted that he was disappointed with the manner in which Saints were beaten by Manchester City at St Mary’s.
Vincent Kompany’s first-half header put the visitors ahead before Leroy Sané and Sergio Agüero confirmed the victory for Pep Guardiola’s men.
And Stephens, who played 90 minutes at centre back alongside Maya Yoshida, believes Saints struggled to deal with City’s quality on the counter.
“The result is very disappointing and difficult to take,” he explained.
“I thought we were in the game for maybe 65 minutes, but when that first goal comes in it becomes very difficult to get back into the game.
“Against good sides like Manchester City you get punished on the counter attack, and that’s what happened to us today.”
Despite the disappointing score line, Stephens was keen to emphasise the importance of having a strong finish to the season.
And with Chelsea up next, the defender knows that Saints cannot afford to dwell on the City defeat for too long.
“Chelsea is the next game and we want to get a positive result,” he continued.
“It’s not going to be easy because none of the games in this league are going to be easy.
“It’ll be a similar test to today and we are going to be going there trying to pick up the right result.”