April 24, 2024

Southampton captain Jack Stephens has revealed what the dressing room looked like after their last-gasp loss to Ipswich Town.

Southampton’s slim chances of automatic promotion were dashed on Monday evening when they were defeated by Ipswich Town.

Russell Martin’s men were brilliant in the first half, leading 2-1 at halftime due to goals from Che Adams and Adam Armstrong.

Unfortunately, the South Coasters’ failure to capitalize on opportunities has been a recurring trend this season, with Ipswich punishing them deep into stoppage time.

After Nathan Broadhead equalised, James Bree was sent off, and Jeremy Sarmiento scored a thrilling victory in the final minute of added time.

The result moved the Tractor Boys to the top, leaving Southampton 12 points behind the top two.

Despite having two games in hand, the Saints’ prospects of automatic promotion are practically lost, barring a miracle, with captain Jack Stephens describing the mood in the dressing room after full-time.

Jack Stephens explains how Southampton players felt after Ipswich loss

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Southampton played quite well for the majority of the game, so losing in the final minute and seeing their promotion aspirations drift away was a difficult pill to swallow.

As a result of this setback, the fans, players, and management team were naturally devastated.

Stephens, who played as an inverted left-back against the Tractor Boys, has spoken about how he and his colleagues felt in the dressing room.

“The mood is low. Stephens told the Daily Echo, “It’s a very difficult decision.” “We had an incredible first half effort, which was a fantastic response to being a goal down.

“We scored two fantastic goals and then dominated from there, and we were well in the second half until they equalised, which was a terrible goal to surrender.

“We had chances again, but there wasn’t much between their second goal and the winner. It caught me off guard.

“We felt really low at the end but it’s up to us to pick ourselves up and decide what we are going to do for the next eight games.”

Russell Martin’s decision to play Jack Stephens as a left-back was bizarre

Martin faced criticism for dropping Kyle Walker-Peters and starting Bree at right-back.

The Saints manager stated after the game that Walker-Peters did not perform well enough against Middlesbrough, and Bree deserved a chance.

This was a costly choice, as the former Luton Town player was sent off in the 84th minute, forcing Southampton to sit back rather than go all out for the win.

Unfortunately, Martin’s decision to shoehorn Stephens into the starting lineup as an inverted left-back was not his only tactical blunder.

Many believe that playing Stephens during a critical period hurt them, while others argue that the 30-year-old helped them recover from their February slump.

One thing is certain: the Saints captain should not be played as a left-back, even if he moves into midfield to overload that part of the pitch.

Martin would have been better suited retaining Walker-Peters on the right, shifting Bree to the left, and sending Stephens to the bench.

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