SKIPPER James Ward-Prowse admitted results “haven’t been good enough” to kick-off Saints’ campaign but added: “We can step it up”.

The England midfielder has been ever-present as the St Mary’s side have suffered three defeats to open the 2020-21 season.

A 1-0 loss at Crystal Palace was followed up by a 2-0 home defeat to Brentford in the Carabao Cup.

And after Sunday’s 5-2 thumping at the hands of Tottenham, the 25-year-old admitted improvements had to be made.

Ward-Prowse told the Daily Echo: “We know amongst ourselves that the results haven’t been good enough and the performances haven’t been quite there.

“But this week we’ve got a really good block of work to enable us to get to work on the things we need to do and ensure we get firing again.

“It’s still early on in the season and we know ourselves, individually and collectively, that we can step it up a bit more and that’s what we need to do.”

Saints showed promising signs in the opening period against Tottenham before a second-half capitulation saw them ship four goals.

Spurs star Heung-Min Son netted four on his own throughout the contest, before England skipper Harry Kane also got in on the act late on.

Saints’ two strikes came from striker Danny Ings.

“I think we were disappointed to lose the game and the way we lost the game – considering the way we played in the first half,” said Ward-Prowse.

“We showed signs of the team that we were towards the end of last season. We were aggressive, we limited them to chances and we played front-foot football.

“The goal before half-time and just the other side of it killed our momentum within the game and gave them the uplift they needed to go on and win it.”

He added: “You can’t turn up and just do it for 45 minutes. You’ve got to do it for 90 minutes and ensure you keep that going.

“We weren’t as good in the second half as we were the first and you could quite clearly see that.

“Take away that second-half performance and we were making good strides. We just need to maintain that level in the first half right throughout the game.”