Southampton right-back Cedric Soares has criticised the club’s mental fragility following their 3-2 defeat against Fulham at Craven Cottage Saturday.
Saints went into the clash in west London looking for just their second Premier League victory against a team with the worst defensive record in the division, but despite taking the lead and then equalising to make it 2-2, they were unable to hold on for at least a point as they dropped into the relegation zone over the weekend.
The south coast have now taken the lead in 13 top-flight matches in 2018, but they have won on just three occasion, but what did Cedric’s revealing comments really mean?
According to quotes as reported by The Guardian, the Portugal international said:
“We were winning 1-0 and I had a feeling that we [would] get the 1-1 because we were very exposed, and then maybe after 1-1 our head was gone immediately.
“We need to be more experienced in managing the game. We were the better side but again we keep saying this, it’s the result that matters. Three stupid goals. We have to try to push each other. We need to believe in ourselves.
“There are ups and downs in football and this seems to be a long down right now. Everyone made some stupid decisions maybe. Sometimes we need to be more simple. We were a bit exposed because we were trying to take risks offensively.”
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Well, not only was it clearly criticism of some of his teammates, but the mention of tactics and the team leaving themselves too exposed defensively was surely a dig at the under-pressure Mark Hughes as well.
His comments are not ideal considering he says he is expecting to concede as a defender, and also quite hypocritical as he has been one of the main culprits – as he was Fulham’s first two goals at the weekend – when it comes to individual errors and playing a part in being responsible for some of the goals conceded.
The fact that he is saying these things in the public eye is also not the best idea, as it lets future opposition know that they aren’t mentally strong even if they do take the lead in a match.