Mauricio Pellegrino has apologised to Saints fans after admitting some of his players ‘gave up’ in their crushing 3-0 defeat at Newcastle.

Saints were truly awful at St James’ Park, and their chances of Premier League survival took another substantial blow as they were comfortably beaten.

They conceded a sloppy goal after just 63 seconds of the game, and never really recovered.

In the end Newcastle cruised to an easy victory, with the attitude of the Saints players called into serious question.

Pellegrino said: “When you concede in the first minute and little by little you feel that the game will be tough every single negative impact is massive for you.

“I think I observe some players that give up and we cannot show this to be honest.

“When you are losing 2-0 you have to try to and we try to score one but we were never a threat to Newcastle.”

With just eight games left to save themselves, Saints really needed something from a game against a relegation rival but instead rolled over so meekly.

Though they remain outside of the bottom three, the fixture list is going to get a lot tougher for them soon, which will likely hinder their survival hopes still further.

Certainly they cannot afford performances as inept as the one they put in at Newcastle.

“My reaction is the feeling that every Southampton fan, every Southampton employer, staff and player is really disappointed,” admitted Pellegrino.

“I think this first goal was a massive impact for the team.

“I never observe the team with the right mentality to compete at this level.

“Without this it is really difficult to compete or bounce back in one game that is really tight or really close and overall because we concede we make a silly mistake in the first goal, we concede the second one in one corner.

“We change but we never be on the pitch with the right attitude to compete at this level.

“For me this is the worse thing that we showed today.

“You can lose, you can play bad, but you have to show another face on the pitch.

“For this reason I like to say sorry to the fans because we couldn’t represent our club properly and this was the worst thing.”