Ronald Koeman has admitted Southampton have "a long way to go" to learn how to handle life at the sharp end of the Premier League.
Saints manager Koeman has challenged Saints to teach themselves how to handle the chase for a top-four spot after Sunday's 3-0 defeat by champions Manchester City. The former Holland defender conceded all Saints' rivals boast far more seasoned campaigners when it comes to chasing Champions League football.
Koeman pledged to help his developing stars as tonight's trip to Arsenal launches a daunting December, but said ultimately they must reach the required levels on their own.
"We can talk about how to handle it all, we can show them clips from games for example, but finally that is for the player by himself to change and to learn off that, and we speak about that," said Koeman.
"The club doesn't have the experience like other teams.
"The players don't have that experience that the players of the big teams have, that's the difference.
"We'd like to be that: the club likes to be where we are and everybody wants to keep that position.
"That's difficult, because we have different players.
"We have younger players and we don't have that experience.
"That's always important to stay at the top, that's what we are working towards, but there's a long way to go."
Former Feyenoord boss Koeman hailed his side's continued spirit despite defeat to City, but warned they must cut out the errors or face a repeat at the Emirates Stadium.
"In the summer the first question was 'what about relegation', then two months later it was 'how about the Champions League'," said Koeman.
"Now people ask 'will you slip down', and that's understandable, that's football life. They know exactly what they must do to be good professionals, but we have to learn, we have to learn from the mistakes."
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