James: We let our performance slip

By SFC Media time Mon 24 Mar Men's First team

James Ward-Prowse was disappointed that Saints failed to follow through with the game-plan that was executed so well in the first half against Tottenham Hotspur.

After being fortunate enough to head into the break at White Hart Lane on Sunday with a 2-1 deficit following a rampant opening 45 minutes from Southampton, Spurs clawed their way back on terms immediately after the restart before snatching a 3-2 victory in added time.

After being delighted at how the visitors’ aims were met in the first half, Ward-Prowse’s feelings to what followed were a total contrast – a display he attributed to a mixture of his own side’s failings and Spurs’ resurgence.

The midfielder explained to reporters: “We had a game-plan to exploit their high defensive line and put balls over the top. We did that and that’s how our two goals came.

“We had confidence in our game-plan before the game. With the pace we’ve got with Rickie and Jay and Adam’s movement, we proved too much for them.

“There was a really good feeling amongst the team in the first half that we were doing well and stuck to the plan.

“It was executed and luckily it paid off for us. We were really pleased with that but we were really disappointed with the way we performed in the second half as we let the two-goal lead slip.

“Fair play to Tottenham; they came out and they knew they had to produce some quality and they did. They really fought for it but on the other hand we just stopped doing what we were doing in the first half. We didn’t keep the ball well enough and we didn’t play out from the back as we normally did.

“Scoring in the first half gave them momentum. We should have dealt with it a lot better and we’re disappointed with the way we played in the second half.”

Ward-Prowse took comfort in Saints’ next fixture against Newcastle United being staged at St Mary’s, while maintaining that Southampton are gunning for entry into European competition for the 2014/15 campaign.

The 19-year-old continued: “It’s always nice to have a home game after a loss to get the fans behind us and hopefully get another three points.

“We still want to get into Europe and that’s an ambition that the Club shares and wants to achieve. We’ve got to try and win games, get as high in the league as we can and hopefully push for a European place.”

On another positive note, the England U21 international paid tribute to the Club’s senior quartet of Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez – the latter pair in particular after their goals against Spurs – and believes if they continue in their current manner then they could find themselves on the plane to the World Cup in Brazil this summer.

“It’s great to see them (Lallana and Rodriguez) doing well,” Ward-Prowse noted. “Hopefully they’ve done enough to be on the plane to Brazil. We’ve still got a few games left so hopefully they can carry on proving their worth for the team and for the country and hopefully they’ll be off to the World Cup.

“They’ve proved in international matches that they’ve done well and they’re all contributing to our success.

“Obviously we didn’t win the game but they’ve all been doing fantastically well and as long as they keep doing that when Roy [Hodgson] names his team then they’ve got a good chance.”

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