Date: 13th February 2018 at 2:49pm
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Midfielder Oriol Romeu has said that manager Mauricio Pellegrino shouldn’t carry the can when it comes to Southampton’s players failing to perform this year.

With the side falling to defeat once more in the clash against Liverpool last weekend, the pressure has intensified both on Southampton and Pellegrino, but Romeu has now urged the club not to panic, reaffirmed the players are behind the manager but acknowledged it’s about time the players started performing as we know they can do.

Speaking to the Daily Echo this week with relegation worries really growing as we slip into the bottom three, Romeu explained that it was about keeping calm and ensuring we start performing properly on the pitch now to pull ourselves to safety.

‘We wouldn’t want to panic, and there’s always a solution. Of course it’s not nice to see ourselves down in the table, but last week we won, and came up three or four places in the table, which tells you that winning, you’ll get out of that position. But you need to win those games.’

Asked specifically if Pellegrino retained the confidence of the players, Romeu answered as you would expect – no player confirms a manager has lost the dressing room even when everyone can see it. There is however a clear sense and reality in his answer – Pellegrino isn’t out on the pitch making mistakes and being unable to hit a barn door.

‘Yes. It’s not the manager’s problem – we’re the ones playing, and the ones that have to change this. It’s conceding many things to the opponent, and when we’re playing away, maybe we’re not defending well enough – set-pieces – and teams are strong in that regard. This season we’ve conceded too many easy goals. Then closing the game down – we’ve had too many times when we’ve lost points in the last minutes, so we need to know how to close the games, how to play under pressure, and then we’ll know how to get points. It’s going to be very, very tight until the end of the season. Every point’s going to be important.’

With a number of other clubs in similar positions, but the likes of Crystal Palace and Swansea City showing what a run of sustained results can do for your prospects this year, the former Chelsea man went on to say.

‘We’re not looking at other teams. We know they’re going to win games. Every team is well prepared to win against any team in this league. We want to win games but we’re not looking at what other teams have done in the past, or if they’ve been struggling and they came up. It’ll be tight until the end, every point will be massively important. Getting points is crucial.’

Adding.

‘That’s football. It’s a part of our lives. We need to look at what we’re not doing right, and maybe do something else, something better. We are here because we deserve to be here, so the end of the season’s going to be crucial. We need to put all of our strengths in there to get something.’

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