It has been a lacklustre start to the season for Southampton following their 0-0 draw at home against Burnley and 2-1 defeat away versus Everton.
And midfielder Oriol Romeu is demanding more from his team-mates before the club finds itself being dragged into a relegation battle again.
“We need to start games better because last week luckily was 0-0 but this week we conceded a couple of goals,” Romeu told the Southern Echo.
And the £10.8m-rated (via Transfermarkt) Spaniard is right to have identified Southampton’s slow start to games as one of the team’s biggest issues.
Too often last season, the Saints went into matches looking very conservative and timid. Undoubtedly, it is something manager Mark Hughes must try to address — especially at St. Mary’s.
The prior campaign, although they were defeated on the day, one of Southampton’s best performances — or at least hour of football — came in their 3-2 defeat at home to Chelsea.
The Blues, of course, were in a very vulnerable period under former head coach Antonio Conte. But Southampton still started off the match brilliantly and really took the game to the Italian’s side.
Hughes’ men went on to blow a 2-0 lead — in the second half they were not good enough defensively — but the attacking intent they showed from the off is something supporters have not seen enough of.
As echoed by Romeu, Southampton have got to start off games quicker — like they did against Chelsea — or they could be in for another disappointing season.