SAINTS manager Russell Martin was pleased with how his side reacted to a poor first half against Watford to win 3-0 on Tuesday evening.

Saints extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 24 matches and set up a fifth round FA Cup tie at Liverpool.

Southampton came out of the blocks after the break and shot to a 2-0 lead thanks to a quickfire double from Sekou Mara before Che Adams grabbed a third.

It came after a "frustrating" first half which saw Saints lack the energy required in the final third.

Scotland international Adams was denied a golden opportunity to open the scoring when his close range effort was saved by Daniel Bachmann's feet. 

“I wasn’t very happy with the first half," Martin explained to the Daily Echo. "I told the players that.

"The team is built on being really brave on the ball but aggressive off the ball.

“We lacked aggression and energy in the first half, I felt. We still had two good chances and should have gone into the break leading the game.

“But we were playing against a good team who had chances as well. We were too nice. We have been horrible and hard to play against for however long, but we weren’t in the first half."

He continued: “Watford did some really good things. At half time we didn’t ask them about anything technical or tactical it was about that energy.

“The players responded amazingly well. They were relentless in the second half at pressing and hunting the ball.

"It's been quite a while since I have done that. My throat was a bit sore and my hair was all over the place, I think they understand where it comes from.

"This team is built around running so hard for each other and we didn't do that. I showed them four clips where it was very clear and they nodded in agreement.

"They felt differently in the second half and I said to them after I don't apologise for it. It's my job."