Southampton taught harsh lesson - Hughes

18 September 2018 02:56:16 EST

Southampton boss Mark Hughes says his players must learn to manage games better after letting a two goal lead slip in Monday's 2-2 draw with Brighton.

The Saints had looked on course for back-to-back Premier League wins after surging clear of the Seagulls at St Mary's, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's 35-yard hit putting them ahead at the break.

A Danny Ings penalty saw Hughes' men tighten their grip on the game against a Brighton side who have struggled to pick up points away from home in the top flight since the start of last season.

However, a Shane Duffy header on 67 minutes set up an exciting finale and the visitors were able to snatch a point when Duffy was adjudged to have been pushed over in the penalty area in stoppage time, Glenn Murray tucking away the resulting spot kick.

The result maintains Southampton's dismal home record of one home win in the league since November 2017, while they have thrown away 26 points from winning positions since the start of last season.

Hughes was left upset by the decision to award a penalty against his team late on, calling it "soft", but admits they should not have found themselves in that position to begin with.

"We've got to find a way to manage the game better than we are doing at the minute," he told Sky Sports.

"We've had a number of winning positions where we needed to manage the game to a conclusion and at the moment that's a little bit difficult for us.

"It's understandable up to a point. Our record at home isn't good and for long periods today, the performance was fine. We created some good opportunities and we should have been 2-0 or 3-0 to the good before they got back into the game.

"You've got to take your chances and see the game out to a conclusion. We weren't able to do that.

"It's a lesson - and a harsh lesson, if we are honest."

Southampton face a tricky game away at league leaders Liverpool next and are 18/1 to spring a surprise against the Reds, who are 2/11 with the draw 7/1.

Having narrowly avoided relegation last season, the Saints are 9/2 to go down this term after taking five points from their first five games.

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