Norwich City Head Coach Daniel Farke admits defensive errors and unnecessary goals were at fault for the Canaries’ 3-0 defeat at home to Southampton on Friday night.
The visitors dominated the second half, and were fully deserving of the three points, Farke added.
“Because of the second half, it’s a deserved win for Southampton,” he said. “They were more effective than us so we have to accept the loss. Goals are always defining moments in games and it was a pretty tight game.
“We put lots of pressure on them in the first 15 minutes but weren’t effective enough in using our chances.
“There was a two against one situation with Teemu Pukki and Josip Drmic. It’s important to take the lead in such a game. We gave away two goals in the second half too easily that were not necessary to concede.
“The goals said a lot about Southampton’s quality, but also the lack of our defensive individual quality. We wanted to have many offensive players because we wanted to attack the game, but we had to because many of our key defensive players are injured.
“Our defensive behaviour was not solid enough at this level, and once you’re 2-0 down in a game and have so many setbacks, it’s not that easy to keep a high level of self-confidence to turn the game.”
Timm Klose made his return to Premier League football following a long-term injury, and has become a vital defensive option with so few of them available at the moment.
“I’m happy to have Timm back, without any doubt,” Farke added. “Of course, he can’t be perfect because his last league game in the starting lineup was on January 1 in 2019 against Brentford. We now have a period of ten games in five weeks, so it’s difficult, but we need to bring him immediately back into the cold water.
“He has to deliver during the next weeks and I think he proved today that he can swim, but of course we can’t put too much pressure on him and think he will sort out everything in the defence on his own.”
With managers now able to make five substitutions instead of three, Farke explained how the change in rule influenced his thinking throughout the match.
“We had more opportunities - nine players on the bench - which gives you more options to take risks and make substitutions earlier because you don’t have to fear as much about an injury later on,” he said.
“We tried everything, bringing many offensive players on the pitch and changing our base formation. In the end, you have to say that because of going 2-0 down in the second half, we didn’t have the confidence to turn the game.”
Eight league games remain, and while it would have been ideal to get off to the restart with winning ways, there are still points to play for.
“We are of course disappointed,” Farke said. “We didn’t want to just win five games, but nine out of nine - that’s always our attitude. The situation after a loss isn’t approved. It’s more difficult now. Of course, it’s better to win the first game. We’re now one back in the nine game series so our situation is a bit worse.
“It’s no option to give up or be too down. As long as we have a chance, we will keep going and keep fighting.”