It was a a boring affair at St.Mary’s yesterday as Southampton drew 0-0 against Burnley to the frustration of Mark Hughes.
Summer acquisition Mohamed Elyounoussi and deadline-day signing Danny Ings were introduced in the second half to add fresh impetus, but it was not enough to help the Saints secure all three points.
And Hughes has since criticised his squad for not showing what they are truly capable of.
Speaking after the game (via the Belfast Telegraph), Hughes said: “It was a little bit of frustration [kicking a bottle on the sideline] because I see these players every day and I know the quality they have in close quarters.
“But I don’t think we were brave enough early on.”
Hughes, however, was much more complimentary of the performance of Ings. “When he came on he looked as fresh as a daisy. He came on, retained the ball on the half-turn, running between the lines, and gave us a glimpse of what he will bring to the party,” the Southampton boss told BT Sport.
But while Ings’ cameo was promising and he should be able to score goals regularly for Southampton — if he can stay fit — Hughes will not doubt be asking for more from his attacking players.
Elyounoussi and Nathan Redmond, who was quite poor last season, will be expected to carve out opportunities for the likes of Ings and Charlie Austin.
The Saints do not have a tonne of attacking options to choose from so a lot of responsibility, in regards to chance creation, will fall upon the pair.
As well as the 11 goals he scored for Basel in the league last term, the Norwegian was also able to register eight assists, and that is the kind of creativity and overall threat Southampton will need in the final third to avoid another relegation scrap.
It is still early days for Elyounoussi and Southampton, though, and a draw against Burnley who have become a very hard team to breakdown, is not a terrible result.