SKIPPER James Ward-Prowse has admitted that Saints “stopped being brave on the ball,” and “just got outperformed," as he tried to explain their second-half collapse at Norwich.

Che Adams had put Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side ahead inside three minutes but Teemu Pukki’s subsequent equaliser was allowed to stand significant despite a period of dominance.

And as has been seen too frequently from Saints, the second-half performance failed to match and was punished when Grant Hanley headed home from a set-piece late on to secure all three points.

The manner of the performance was a disappointment after the same thing has occurred during the 1-0 win over Aston Villa last time out – a very early goal and a second-half collapse, that time narrowly escaping with a well-battled three points.

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Despite looking comfortably on top against the side who were then bottom of the Premier League, only Adams’ one-on-one and a late wide-header from Theo Walcott were really clear sights at goal, aside from the opener.

Daily Echo: James Ward-Prowse was among those outjumped by Scotland international Grant Hanley (Pic: PA)James Ward-Prowse was among those outjumped by Scotland international Grant Hanley (Pic: PA)

And Ward-Prowse has looked to explain to supporters what he thinks went wrong.

Speaking to the Daily Echo, he admitted: “Yeah I think that we’re aware of that (the difference in halves). In the first-half we were so dominant to create the amount of chances we did.

“I think the only disappointing thing was that we conceded a goal, but not to be more than one goal in the game, to create the chances was great but we need to be more ruthless and clinical to put the game to bed.

Daily Echo: Che Adams had got Saints off to a quick start at Carrow Road (Pic: PA)Che Adams had got Saints off to a quick start at Carrow Road (Pic: PA)

“We just stopped doing what we were doing in the first half,” he continued, “we stopped being brave on the ball, stopped creating the chances.

“We just got outperformed a little bit, we could feel the emotion in the stands, energy in the stands with the new manager (Dean Smith) and the supporters were all backing him.

“We did well in the first-half but they kind of overpowered us and the fans definitely played a big part in spurring their team on.”

The result saw Norwich lift off the bottom of the table with two wins in two, as well as getting their new era under head coach Dean Smith off to a perfect start.

Daily Echo: Saints were left dejected in an uninspiring second-half (Pic: PA)Saints were left dejected in an uninspiring second-half (Pic: PA)

Smith had made a change to his shape for the second-half as well as substituting Todd Cantwell for Josh Sargent – but Hasenhuttl’s changes did not have the same impact.

The Austrian boss had admitted before the game that it could be a slight advantage to Smith, having faced Saints in consecutive games and knowing what he would be up against.

Saints also saw late disruption to their plans with Nathan Redmond, Stuart Armstrong and Moussa Djenepo all ruled out within 24-48 hours of kick-off – but Ward-Prowse has said it’s still a disappointment.

“It’s hard to take for sure,” the 27-year-old told us, “with all due respect to Norwich this is a game that we came and wanted to win.

“We had a good plan and it went well in the first half. But yeah to not kill the game off in the first-half was disappointing.

“To concede a goal in the manner we did at the end was probably the most disappointing factor.”