Oriol Romeu believes Southampton’s performance in defeat to Liverpool proves how much the team has improved, but also how far Saints still have to progress.
The visitors gave as good as they got in the first half at Anfield, and were unlucky not to be ahead at the interval on the balance of play.
But after Danny Ings saw a penalty appeal turned down from the first attack of the second period, Liverpool instantly made the breakthrough at the other end, and soon wrestled control of the game before running out convincing 4-0 winners.
“It tells us that we are doing good things, that we are competing against anyone,” Romeu said.
“But maybe we are not yet ready to play against the best team in the league and compete in a good way. We had some periods, but not 90 minutes, so that’s probably our next step.
“You could see in the atmosphere that they weren’t feeling comfortable and they weren’t enjoying the game – we were putting them in trouble, so that was good, and we were feeling great with many chances.
“In the second half, we were also in the moment. We had a half-penalty for us and then they scored the first goal.
“Sometimes in these games instead of falling the other side, it falls your side, and everything can change. It’s a pity, but there are good things from the team today.”
Romeu was making his first Premier League start in three months, filling the void in midfield vacated by James Ward-Prowse, who moved to right-back following Cédric’s departure to Arsenal.
“I’m happy to be back,” he added. “I’ve been working hard to be out there on the pitch, trying to prove to the manager that if he ever needed me, I was going to be ready.
“I am very pleased that he gave me the chance today. I just tried to do my work and help the team as well as I could.”