Southampton players must defend the shirt, says Mauricio Pellegrino
By Richard Cooke
Last Updated: 25/11/17 1:36pm
Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino has spoken to the squad this week about Cedric Soares' assertion that they "gave up" against Liverpool and has warned there can be "no repeat".
Saints host struggling Everton on Sunday live on Sky Sports looking for a win that would ease the pressure that is growing on the manager after only 12 matches.
The side has won only three league games since Pellegrino replaced Claude Puel and they are 14th in the table going into the weekend fixtures.
Discussing last week's 3-0 defeat by Liverpool, the defender said: "We did not start badly, but after the first and second goal we gave up a little bit and our reaction was not the best."
But Pellegrino remains confident his methods will lead to long-term success and, after confirming he had spoken to his players, said: "It could be possible [we gave up].
"The team felt that maybe the other side were stronger than us and it is something that we can't repeat. You always have to defend your colours until the end, even when you are losing, to try and change the situation.
"Suddenly, you can score one goal and anything can happen. This is something for me that is a part of our character and a part of our learning. We have to be optimistic and try to learn from difficult situations."
Pellegrino has one or two potential selection problems ahead of the game against Everton.
Mario Lemina is facing a late fitness test on an ankle injury at a time when fellow central midfielder Oriol Romeu is suspended. If he has not sufficiently recovered, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is a possible replacement.
The manager has revealed he is ready to rotate the team in the busy weeks coming up despite being consistent so far with his selections.
He added: "Most of my players in our squad are ready to play and that's something that is good because we start now with a period of time with a lot of games and my squad is ready to compete and I've got options in different positions."