MAYA Yoshida has urged Saints to be braver against the Premier League’s leading sides, after Claude Puel’s men were beaten 3-0 by third-placed Manchester City at St Mary’s.
It was the eighth occasion this top-flight term that Saints have not claimed a triumph against one of the elite's high-fliers, as Vincent Kompany, Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero helped City to victory.
With four of the traditional big sides left to play, Saints must try and channel last season’s spirit, which saw them defeat all of the top guns they are set to face in the run-in.
“We have to play with more bravery because we can play much better [than against City],” Yoshida said.
“We have to believe in ourselves and tactically we have to play for each-other, defensively and offensively.
“Then, if something happened individually, okay, but if we score two goals and concede one, then I understand.”
It all starts against Chelsea a week tomorrow, when Saints travel to Stamford Bridge, the scene of a famous 3-1 triumph last term.
They then face Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United – all of whom Saints defeated in 2015/16.
“It’s not only about luck,” the 28-year-old said, when asked why Saints haven’t claimed a big scalp. “We have to fight as a team because individually they will be much better.
“As a team we are really, really good and we have done very well as a team for the last few years.
“But everyone has to fight for the team, not everyone has to fight for one person.”
That was Yoshida's main gripe after the City defeat, with the centre-back clearly feeling that Saints did not work hard enough.
He blames himself for the opening goal, in which Kompany rose above him to head home from David Silva’s corner on 55 minutes.
“We shouldn’t have conceded the three goals,” he said.
“Of course, the first goal was my individual responsibility and the second and the third shouldn’t be happening, I don’t think.
“As a team we are better, but individually they are much better.
“We know that and that’s why everyone has to fight for 90 minutes, even their substitutes came in and put in a massive effort.
“We had to fight as a team because individually they’re so good and that’s why if we switched off for one moment we were punished by them.”
After a first half in which Pep Guardiola’s side dominated but Saints had the best chances, with Dusan Tadic hitting over from 12 yards from Manolo Gabbiadini’s cut back, Yoshida says Puel’s men planned to go out and assert themselves on the game.
“At half-time we spoke and said we should restart aggressively, but we dropped down our pace,” he said.
“I let Kompany open the scoring and the aggression changed.
“Now we have to play against similar opponents like Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and United. “They’re such strong teams and this lesson costs us a lot but we have to move on and learn from this game.”