Mauricio Pellegrino urges Southampton to remain calm in face of relegation fears

Mauricio Pellegrino says Southampton could not react to going two goals down against Liverpool, but the Saints boss is confident results will improve soon.

Mauricio Pellegrino has urged Southampton to remain calm and keep fighting after Sunday’s defeat to Liverpool left them in the relegation zone.

First-half goals from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah ensured Virgil van Dijk won on his return to St. Mary’s and left the Saints a point from safety after key wins for the relegation rivals this weekend.

Southampton have now won just one of their last 14 Premier League games, but Pellegrino insists his squad can turn things around quickly.

“We are in one situation, but we have to keep going, keep fighting,” he told Sky Sports.

“We understand the emotion of the fans, everything in the Premier League is tight and everything changes.

“I am convinced we have got good pace to try to win the next game. It will be long until the end, we have to be there, recover our mentality and in football everything can change in two or three weeks.”

Southampton were behind inside six minutes as Salah teed up Firmino for the opener at the end of a flowing counter before the Brazilian returned the favour with a sumptuous back-heel which set up the Egyptian for his 29th goal of the season on 42 minutes.

The deficit proved too big for Saints to overturn as an encouraging first half-display was followed by a second-half performance which angered Pellegrino.

“We made it really difficult,” the Saints boss added. “After we conceded from a counter attack it was a pity because we dominated the first half and played the best part of the game.

“We created two or three clear chances but after their second goal we were down in confidence and belief and we couldn’t react in the second half.

“I feel that this second half didn’t show our reaction since January, because we were growing every single weekend.

Jurgen Klopp says their result over Southampton – a 2-0 win at St. Mary’s – with no injuries, a clean sheet and a couple of goals was ‘nearly perfect.’

“We didn’t show what we are in the second half. The two goals were too much. We had to show another phase because we needed to score just one goal to be in the game until the end.

“The second half was really bad. Overall the anxiety was really high, we were not calm and gave the ball away all of the time.”