Saints must be more committed if they are to improve their flagging form.

Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has laid down a challenge to his entire squad to lift their levels after three Premier League defeats in a row heading into the October international break.

There are more tricky fixtures to come when Saints return and their margin for error above the relegation zone is getting slimmer and slimmer.

He said: “We only have a chance to turn around if you see clear and be very honest and say ‘ok, this is not enough, we must do it much better’, and then we have to work on it.

“If we are as a team more committed than we are at the moment then we have chances to take something.

“At the moment the work against the ball is not really in the net we normally do it and in one against one situations we know they are always very strong.

“When you see Willian in a one against one situation you know he is very strong and you cannot stop him but with three guys maybe you can do it.

“We have time now, two weeks, to work on this and then we must play better than at the moment.”

Only two teams have conceded more goals in the opening eight matches of the season than Saints, who have leaked 15, and it’s a worrying trend for Hasenhuttl.

“I think this game was a little bit too easy for the opponent,” he said after the 4-1 loss to Chelsea.

“In other games you see we don’t give so many chances away but this was too easy for them.

“Ok, we took a little bit more risk with a 4-3-3 and then it’s important that you have a good start.

“The first chance we had but to go in the lead at home which hasn’t happened this season so far would help us absolutely but in total it’s not enough at the moment.

“This is why we will have two intense weeks in front of us for sure.”

The one positive was Danny Ings bagging a fourth goal in three games, but even that was little comfort for Hasenhuttl.

“If you want,” he shrugged. “He has another chance before the break to score the second goal and didn’t.

“We maybe had the chance to come back more in the second half with more pressure but it doesn’t seem they have problems in the moment. They play very calm in possession, very clinical with a lot of self-confidence. A strong side.”