James Ward-Prowse reflected on a frustrating afternoon at St Mary’s as Southampton’s Emirates FA Cup run came to an end with a 4-1 defeat to Manchester City.
With the current Premier League leaders netting after just 12 minutes through Raheem Sterling, it was an uphill battle for Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men.
“It’s frustrating, when you come up against a good side like City you need to be on it 100%,” admitted the captain. “You need a little bit of luck and we got that towards the end of the first half and got back into the game.
Despite Elyounoussi’s shot being deflected into the goal for Saints’ equaliser shortly before the break, a late challenge from Salisu saw Manchester City awarded a penalty and back in control after the hour mark.
“You could feel the momentum was with us but obviously the penalty decision changed the game for us. It’s difficult when you’re up against it and then they got the third goal and that’s when our levels dropped a little bit.
“I think that’s why it’s such a pleasure to play in this team because regardless of the opposition and the way that they play, very aggressive on the front foot. They know the football that City like to play and it’s the perfect game for us to play in.
“You could see that we were causing them problems, but the game turned in that moment with the penalty decision and they had the ascendancy.
“I think against the big teams you need a combination of a lot of things and taking your chances when you get them is very important, they don’t come very often so you have to be clinical for a goal and ultimately we missed a few good chances in the second half.”
Saints were looking to make it two consecutive seasons where they’d make it to Wembley for the semi-finals of the competition, where they lost out to Leicester City in last year’s competition.
“We knew last year, obviously we lost in the semi-final against Leicester, we didn’t quite perform the way that we wanted to, and we reminded ourselves of that today.
“We wanted to get back to Wembley and put to rights the way it ended for us last season, but it wasn’t meant to be but next year is another opportunity.
“We’ve still got a lot of points to play for and positions to climb. We’re in a great position, giving everybody the chance to recalibrate, get back together and look forward to attacking the last few games of the season.”