Russell Martin: Result did not reflect Southampton and Leicester's performances
Southampton manager Russell Martin insists Leicester should be criticised as much as his side despite winning 4-1 at St Mary’s.
Saints conceded after 21 seconds to a thumping Jamie Vardy finish before Kasey McAteer, Wilfred Ndidi and Stephy Mavididi also netted as the Foxes ran riot.
But Martin, who saw Sam Edozie pull one back and Kamaldeen Sulemana sent off late on, thinks the result did not reflect the two sides’ performances.
He said: “It is a very different feeling to Sunderland (5-0 defeat). I am proud of the players, people will criticise me for saying that but they did what we asked of them.
“I take loads from that and it was a much better performance than Sunderland.
“If anyone expected there not to be any pain when it is such a big change then they are very naive.
“Leicester lost the ball as much as we did but they have come out on the right end of the scoreline so Enzo (Maresca) will not get criticised.
“I asked the players to go toe to toe with a really good team and I thought it was a very good game.
“We made life difficult for ourselves by conceding two early goals. They were really clinical and we weren’t. They took their chances and we didn’t.
“People can read what they want into it but if we took our chances it is a very different scoreline.
“It was a tough atmosphere which I understand because we were 2-0 down in 20 minutes.
“They have to do their best to shut that out. But the only way we can get them off our backs is to win games and make everyone feel positive.
“On Tuesday both the fans and the players have a choice about how to approach it. The supporters have the choice of coming to support or causing anxieties.
“They have been great since I’ve been here and I’d have been annoyed if we had started like we did and lost.”
Vardy’s opener, his first in the Championship this season after Mavididi’s fine pull back, was followed quickly by McAteer controlling and slotting in after Saints gave the ball away in midfield.
Edozie bagged his second of the campaign but Ndidi’s finish handed the Foxes back their two-goal advantage before the interval, with Mavididi getting the goal his performance deserved in the 67th minute.
Leicester manager Enzo Maresca said: “I am very happy. Winning the game is always important, it is never easy but the performance on and off the ball was very good.
“Sometimes like tonight we were a little more clinical and more clear in our decision-making.
“Since day one we have arrived quite well in the last third but we miss the right choices and aren’t patient, but tonight it worked better.
“We still need to improve and add new solutions. I don’t like basketball games. We know they want the same way of playing as us – keep the ball and try to win. So we knew we couldn’t control the game for 90 minutes.
“The way we worked off the ball, how aggressive we were, was the key point.
“Stephy is an important player for us but tonight was a good performance from all the players.”