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Chris Hughton reacted angrily to his side’s heaviest defeat of the season against Southampton at The Dell and admitted that, Ben Bowditch’s debut aside, he failed to take any positives from the game.
Young Bowditch escaped the sharp side of his manager’s tongue as he put in a competent performance on the right of defence and could do little to effect the general course of the game.
It is a shame for Ben Bowditch who made his debut and did okay. It would have been nice for him to start in a better performance by the team.
Following the mauling against an experience Saints line-up, Chris commented: “I feel embarrassment really, the only other result we’ve had like that this season was at Charlton (a 5-0 defeat). The only thing that stops this being maybe as embarrassing as Charlton is perhaps we had a younger side.
“I’m struggling to take anything good out of the game. If you wanted to put blame onto say someone like Ian Walker, he’s made two saves, one to stop it being eight — but he’s hardly had anything to do, their finishing was that good.
“Our defending was like schoolboy defending and, even at half-time when it was 4-0, it should have been about not conceding again, but within about ten minutes they’ve scored two goals — both defensive errors.
“You can’t legislate for a game like that, you can’t do it for them and you’re relying on good defending and responsibility. We didn’t have enough of that.
Chris refused to allow as an excuse the fact that a few of the players on duty might have struggled to lift themselves for a reserve fixture after being in the squad for Sunday’s FA Cup humdinger at Upton Park.
“Possibly, but that’s part and parcel of the game. We looked incredibly flat.
“When you have a performance like that what you’ve got to do is dig deep and in effect just stop them scoring — we just never had enough of that.
“They had very experienced players and if you give them time and space they’ll hurt you, and that’s exactly what they did.”
Chris admitted to some tough words being uttered in the changing room after the game and the players are now facing a long week of hard graft on the training ground.
“I certainly volleyed a few, but that’s normal when you’re that disappointed with a performance. There isn’t really anybody who comes out of it with any credit. Even though they are young players, they are young players with experience who’ve been involved with the first team.
“There won’t be any days off this week.”