Writer: Daniel Bailey
Date:Sunday March 8 2009
Saints' boss Mark Wotte refused to use 'tiredness' as an excuse for his side's first defeat in three games.
Southampton never really got going and appeared to look a little jaded during their 1-0 defeat at the hands of Birmingham at St Andrew's on Saturday, but the Dutch coach doesn't believe the lacklustre performance has anything to do with Saints' busy fixture schedule.
Speaking to saintsfc.co.uk, Wotte said, "It was obviously a third game in a week for Birmingham too, so it's an easy excuse but I won't use it.
"Maybe, you never know, not a lot of players are used to playing this kind of rhythm to play Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, with so much pressure.
"We gave three matches everything, 100 per cent, and I think you need to keep it as simple as possible. We will have to make a quick switch to two home games and we have to be as good as the matches against Cardiff and Preston North End to beat both Derby and QPR and it's a big challenge for us."
Wotte will also be expecting improved performances from many of the players who he felt weren't up to their recent high standards against Birmingham.
"I thought Chris Perry and Kelvin Davis played an excellent game yesterday, but the rest could play better.
"Our strikers didn't show as much quality as they have over the last couple of weeks. Marek and Jason and Matt Paterson, they were trying, but I think the two central defenders of Birmingham City played an excellent game as well and I give credit to them.
"David McGoldrick had a very poor game I thought and I took him off at half time. Matt Paterson came on and he will always give you a lot of passion and he's trying.
"They had to rotate with Jason Euell in the hole, because Jason's strong as well up front. But I felt that we couldn't win anything in the air, so then you have to change your play and you have to play more on the floor.
"A 1-0 defeat at Birmingham City is not disgraceful, but it's frustrating that we didn't compete with them to get a point at least."
Date:Sunday March 8 2009
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