Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino has praised his side's spirit and personality, after their narrow 1-0 Premier League loss to the reigning champions Chelsea.
The Blues edged the game thanks to Marcos Alonso's long-range free-kick, but the Saints offered little in the way of pressure going forward - managing just two shots on target in the duration of the match.
Speaking after the loss, via Southampton's official website, Pellegrino was upbeat about his sides performances, choosing to focus on the positives to be found in his side's performances. The Argentine coach said:
"In some moments, we were strong. We defended with personality and we counter-attacked with spirit. Our idea was to be in the game until the end.
"When we made the changes, we created a couple of chances and I think we were there. We were really close to a draw in this game. In general, we competed well and we were in the game until the end."
Addressing his tactical changes in the second half, Pellegrino claimed:
“I changed the position of Nathan (Redmond) at half-time a little bit and after we changed again with Sofiane (Boufal) and Charlie (Austin) coming on because it was difficult to arrive in wide areas with their three defenders and two wing-backs. They move the ball with tempo. They want to open the corridor in the middle. It wasn’t easy to defend the open play from them.“
The Saints' loss sees them sitting in 12th place in the Premier League table. With no win in five matches, things could look set to get even worse for the south coast side, as they face the likes of Tottenham Hotspurs and high-flying league leaders Manchester City over the festive period.