Ronald Koeman has warned his Southampton players that they need to buck their ideas up if they want to harbour any hopes of earning European football for the 2016-17 season.
This comes after Southampton's poor 2-0 away loss at AFC Bournemouth on Tuesday night and Saturday's 2-1 home loss to in-form Chelsea. Those two games have seen Saints fall to ninth in the Premier League reckoning and trailing Manchester United by seven points after having caught them up.
Speaking in his press conference ahead of the game against Sunderland tomorrow, Koeman said: "Normally I like to defend my players, I am enjoying my role as the manager of this club, but sometimes you need to say what you think at that moment.
"The start of the Bournemouth game was not good and if you start like that you cause yourself problems. They are not stupid, they know they were not good on Tuesday.
"You have to change your mentality, you have to change your attitude. We need a good game this Saturday
"The Premier League is really a tough competition, if you are not 100 per cent prepared then you do not win. You need to keep your attitude level up and then your individual qualities but every game you need to be giving 110 per cent.
"We lost two in a row and now we have to go with confidence to win games because we want to get into Europe. It is still achievable, fighting for Europe, but we need a good run, after two defeats we need to win and that is the pressure we have this Saturday.
"We do not have the possibilities like the other teams, it is more difficult but qualifying for Europe would be fantastic."
Koeman will be hoping for a repeat of last season's demolition of Sunderland in an 8-0 classic. However, Sam Allardyce and his men will likely be a tricky proposition for Saints the way things have been looking over the last week.