JANNIK Vestergaard believes Saints missed an opportunity to further distance themselves from the relegation zone on Saturday.

The defender was handed a spot in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s starting XI ahead of the ever-present Polish international Jan Bednarek.

But the tactical change made little difference as Saints succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at home to Sean Dyche’s side.

Speaking to the official Southampton FC website, Vestergaard said: “It was a good opportunity.

“But it’s a reminder that if we want to continue to win games in the Premier League, we have to do better. 

“Even though conditions were tough, even though we didn’t give too many chances away, we have to do better against the ball, on the ball and just generally lift our game if we want to make anything out of the games coming up.

“It was a good opportunity to get back to winning ways, but I still think we should have at least got a point.”

Saints have a run of fixtures coming up that, should things go their way, will alleviate the pressure of a relegation battle.

They welcome Aston Villa to St Mary’s on Saturday before a trip to West Ham’s London Stadium the following week.

Saints will then host Newcastle at the beginning of March, with Norwich away following that one.

Although Burnley provided Saints with a chance to reach 34 points on Saturday, Storm Dennis played its part in what was a poor spectacle.

Vestergaard felt the testing conditions made it difficult for the home side to play the brand of football they have become accustomed to.

He added: “It was extremely tough conditions. Which made it not a very beautiful game to watch, I believe. 

“It definitely wasn’t a great performance, but the conditions made it tough to play the quick style of play that we like to. 

“Both teams struggled with it with mistakes on both sides, but it’s very frustrating as we didn’t really concede any chances but conceded two goals.”