Ronald Koeman admitted he is finding it difficult to explain why his team is on such a poor run of form but insists hoping for a miracle in the transfer market isn’t the only solution.

Saints were dumped out of the FA Cup at home by Crystal Palace for the second year in succession with the Eagles securing a 2-1 victory at St Mary’s to make it eight defeats in the last ten in all competitions for Koeman’s side.

The game followed a familiar pattern, as once again Saints were the better team for large periods of the game, created far more chances, but still ended up on the losing side, punished for a couple of errors.

Koeman believes only once in this poor run have Saints actually been beaten by a better team on the day, and it’s hard to argue, but it also makes it hard for him to explain.

He said: “Of course everybody is trying to change this and to turn it around, and we are doing everything, but you have to believe in your qualities, and I believe in the players because so many moments in the game I like how we play but it’s all about the final result and sometimes it’s difficult to explain why we lose seven of the last nine games.

“Maybe in one our opponent was a better team than we but it’s a long story because several reasons maybe to talk about and difficult for me to explain why because most of the time it’s the same story.”

Saints expect to be boosted by the return of star striker Graziano Pelle for the game at Watford on Wednesday night with the Italian having been sidelined with a knee injury.

Koeman is looking to dip into the transfer market for another attacking talent, but is adamant that he has a strong squad who can be getting better results than they currently are, and to merely suggest a new face will solve all the problems is optimistic.

“First of all you need more players scoring goals,” he insisted.

“It’s not always about one player and it’s difficult at this stage of the season to bring in one player who will change everything around.

“Maybe if we sign Messi then it looks very positive but that’s not at this moment in the season.”

He added: “Of course we are trying to turn around several things in the club but we know that at the moment we miss some good attack players and scoring players, but we have a good squad to turn around it.

“It’d also about the belief in the players and the belief what they have to show and in a positive way what they did in the last 20 minutes.”