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Sunday 23 September 2018

Yoshida - everyone has to take responsibility for Saints predicament

Maya Yoshida, left, and the rest of the Southampton defence were unable to keep Spurs at bay
Maya Yoshida, left, and the rest of the Southampton defence were unable to keep Spurs at bay

Maya Yoshida admits Southampton have got worse under Mauricio Pellegrino this season but has advised against another managerial change at the club.

After their Boxing Day thrashing at the hands of Tottenham, Yoshida said the players remain behind Pellegrino while also appearing to question the decision to sack Claude Puel in the summer.

Saints finished eighth under the Frenchman last term, 12 points clear of the relegation zone, but they now sit 14th in the table and just two points above the bottom three.

They are also winless in seven Premier League matches and never looked like ending that run at Wembley, where Spurs ran out 5-2 winners thanks to a Harry Kane hat-trick.

Asked if Southampton's players still have faith in Pellegrino, Yoshida told Press Association Sport: "Yes, we can't pass on responsibility to anyone else - to the manager, team-mates, the club. That's easy.

"Everyone has to take responsibility. Claude Puel was fired last season because the club wasn't satisfied. But the situation is even worse now.

"So just sacking the manager is clearly not always the best choice. But it is not my decision, it is a club decision."

Pellegrino criticised the commitment of some of his players earlier this month and there was little evidence of any rally for the Argentinian against Tottenham.

Oriol Romeu was symptomatic of Southampton's lethargy, allowing Kane a free header to open the scoring before making only a token effort to stop Dele Alli's third from the edge of the box.

Son Heung-min was also on target for Spurs, while Sofiane Boufal and Dusan Tadic managed to reduce the deficit during a frantic second half.

"Does the attitude need to improve? I would say yes," Yoshida said. "I think it is a really difficult situation for Southampton, we cannot play like this. The game became too open. We need to get organised."

On Kane's treble, Yoshida added: "I think for him it was very easy today."

Kane took home the match-ball after breaking Alan Shearer's 22-year-old Premier League record for goals scored in a calendar year.

Shearer hit 36 in 42 games in 1995 while Kane will end this year on a remarkable 39 in 36.

The 24-year-old's eighth competitive hat-trick of 2017 also leaves him two goals clear of Lionel Messi as the leading scorer for club and country over the past 12 months, with the Barcelona and Argentina ace having notched 54 times.

"A lot of the build-up was about Alan Shearer's record and if I could break it but I was calm," Kane told Spurs TV.

"I was confident and when you have players like Christian Eriksen putting in crosses like that (for the first goal) as a striker, it's a dream."

Tottenham will enjoy a week off before travelling to struggling Swansea on January 2 while Southampton face a trip to Manchester United on Saturday.

Press Association

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