Liverpool winger Stewart Downing has admitted that Southampton fully deserved their 3-1 win over Liverpool at the weekend.
The Reds came into the game on the back of an excellent win over Tottenham, but failed to perform in Saturday’s game at St. Mary’s.
Liverpool’s season has been very inconsistent, as Brendan Rodgers continue his attempts to iron out the wrinkles left in the squad by previous managers. The three points against Tottenham meant that Liverpool would have been just four points off fourth-place had they won against Southampton. However, a dismal performance saw Brendan Rodger’side completely outplayed.
Stewart Downing admitted his frustration at the loss and stressed that Liverpool cannot afford slip-ups against teams of Southampton’s calibre.
“If you can beat Tottenham at home, you should come here and win,” Downing told the LiverpoolFC. “If you want to be in the top four, you have to come to places like this and win.
Downing said he is aware of the fighting mentality of a team stuck in a relegation dogfight and that the game against Mauricio Pochettino’s was one of the toughest of the season.
“[Winning against lower teams is] easier said than done. It’s difficult with them being in a relegation fight and playing for the new manager as well.
“I still think we had chances in the game considering we didn’t play well. We started too late and the game was over.
“We just didn’t start brightly enough. The manager said we didn’t start playing until we were 2-0 down. He stressed from the start that this was a difficult game, probably one of the hardest of the season.
“They are scrapping for their lives and, to be fair, they were the better team on the day. You’ve got to give them credit for that. We started too late.”
Liverpool find themselves seven points outside of the fourth Champions League place following Saturday’s away loss. They play Aston Villa on Sunday, 31st March in their next Premier League game due to the international break.