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Mark Hughes: Southampton “maybe” have a mentality issue

Sparky was disappointed after his Saints side threw away a two-goal lead against Brighton on Monday night.

southampton fc mark hughes liverpool brighton draw premier league Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Southampton manager Mark Hughes was encouraged by the majority of what he saw as Saints drew 2-2 with Brighton & Hove Albion on Monday night.

However, he was left frustrated as Southampton spurned a two-goal lead to only get a point and rightly so.

That means Southampton have already dropped five points from winning positions in the Premier League so far. We’re only five games in.

Saints’ goalscoring midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg already slammed his teammates for their mental fragility in his post-match interview, and Hughes echoed his sentiments in a roundabout way.

READ: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg furious with draw, tears into fragile Saints

“Disappointing but we just pick ourselves up and go again,” Hughes said after the match. [H/T the Daily Echo]

“We take positives from a lot of the good play we produced but it’s that ability to see the game out we need to add to our game and once we do that I think everybody can see we are quite an accomplished side at this level but we need to get maximum points when we have the opportunity.

“This was a big opportunity to get into the top ten and get back-to-back wins that we’ve found difficulty with so it’s a missed opportunity really if we are honest.”

While Southampton have been playing better of late - certainly an improvement on our playing style seen last year - the team looks incapable of maintaining their composure across the pitch to keep hold of their valuable leads.

Saints could have turned a corner against Crystal Palace, a 2-0 win with a late goal against the run of play providing the exclamation mark needed to secure a big win away from home.

But Saints’ slow-motion capitulation against Brighton reminded Saints fans of the teams’ perceived mental issues.

“Maybe,” said Hughes when asked if his Saints team have any mentality issues. “I have mentioned before that I sensed that but I don’t think that was the case this time because we had a real go and our general play was more on the front foot and we are playing with more confidence and that’s clear for everybody to see.

“You have periods in games where momentum goes against you and you just have to ride out those moments and hope that you don’t concede or are damaged by the shift in momentum the opposition are able to create.”