MANAGER Ralph Hasenhuttl admitted Saints were “the worst team in the second half of the season” after their 3-0 thumping at the hands of Leeds United.

Patrick Bamford’s 13th Premier League goal of the campaign and Stuart Dallas put Leeds in control before the impressive Raphinha curled home a sublime free-kick in the closing stages.

Defeat means Saints have lost seven of their past eight top-flight games and have picked up one point in the process.

Speaking after his team’s latest loss, Hasenhuttl admitted: “We are the worst team in the second half of the season and this is absolutely right because we don’t play like a winning team at the moment.

“When we don’t change this, we will have again a battle until the end of the season.”

Hasenhuttl opted to rotate the likes of Danny Ings, Takumi Minamino and Moussa Djenepo for the clash at Elland Road – leaving the trio on the bench.

He brought in Stuart Armstrong following his return from injury, as well as Che Adams and Nathan Tella.

“What I have to do at the moment is find the balance of getting the best squad on the pitch but also taking care of all the fixtures we have at the moment,” said Hasenhuttl.

“We are still part of the (FA) Cup but we need to win games and at the moment it’s tough because we are not winning.

“That makes it even more difficult.”

Saints make the trip to Everton in the Premier League on Monday (8pm).