Popular Southampton midfielder Oriol Romeu says the players, and not manager Mauricio Pellegrino, are the ones responsible for the club lying in the Premier League’s relegation zone.
The south coast outfit moved out of the bottom three when they beat West Bromwich Albion 3-2 at the Hawthorns earlier in the month, but a 2-0 defeat against Liverpool at St Mary’s on Sunday combined with other results going against them saw them slip back down to 18th.
Saints have only won five of their 27 top flight matches and while they haven’t been good enough going forward, they have also started conceding preventable goals from a defensive point of view too – Wesley Hoedt’s mistake led to Roberto Firmino’s opener for Jurgen Klopp’s men at the weekend.
Pellegrino has come under scrutiny from the St Mary’s faithful who are understandably unhappy with their position in the standings and the performances they have seen from their team, but Romeu, who won the club’s 2016/17 Player of the Year award, says it is down to the players, rather than their boss.
The Spaniard told The Telegraph: “It’s not the manager’s problem. We are the ones playing, and the ones that have to change this.”
Southampton face West Bromwich Albion in the fifth round of the FA Cup at the Hawthorns on Saturday, before they look to face a season-defining run of five Premier League fixtures against Burnley, Stoke City, Newcastle United, Swansea City and West Ham United that will have a big say on whether they are staying up or going down.