May 25, 2024

Russell Martin was upset by Southampton’s statement against Blackburn Rovers, who are still in the relegation battle.

The South Coasters struggled over the Easter weekend, and any aspirations of finishing in the top two are now long gone.

After drawing with Middlesbrough and losing late to Ipswich Town, they needed to win at Ewood Park to have any hope of automatic promotion.

Despite controlling the proceedings for the majority of the meeting, as they frequently do, they lacked true potency and imagination.

Their defensive struggles have recently been their Achilles heel, but Martin was surprised to see the complete opposite on Saturday.

Russell Martin disappointed with Southampton’s decision-making

Following Southampton’s goalless draw against Blackburn, which left them 12 points behind second-placed Ipswich, Martin revealed what most ‘disappointed’ him.

“The mentality to defend was good but I was really disappointed with the side we have been so good with, with the creativity,” stated the Saints head coach.

“We broke the press but were too slow, allowing them to recover. We lacked direction until the final half hour, when the game looked more like it should.

“We didn’t create or test the goalkeeper enough for the talent we have, which is disappointing, but credit to Blackburn for their fight.

“It was down to decision-making, we had two brilliant chances in the first half,” he said.

“There was a lack of decision-making in the closing stages, and we were unwilling to give the ball up in the last third.

“I’m not sure why; I’ll watch it again and we’ll have a look. We asked them to bring the other side of the game, which they did.”

Southampton resigned to a play-off campaign

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Southampton will almost probably have to prepare for a play-off campaign after failing to win any of their previous three games.

With seven games remaining, Martin cannot afford to be complacent, and he must create a fresh goal for his team.

Naturally, without a realistic goal to strive for, players’ performances may begin to lag as they prepare for what comes next once the 46-game season ends.

Southampton has to enter the playoffs with momentum, and they’ve recently lost it.

The Saints must put on a good show on Tuesday when they entertain top-six hopefuls Coventry City.

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