Russell Martin delivers verdict on Sunderland defeat and the moment that 'summed it up'
Sunderland beat Southampton 5-0 on Saturday afternoon
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Russell Martin said his players have to work harder after their heavy defeat to Sunderland on Saturday afternoon.
Goals from Jack Clarke and Pierre Ekwah gave Sunderland a 2-0 lead inside ten minutes at the Stadium of Light, and though Southampton had a good spell after that they were outplayed from the moment Ekwah made it three just after half time.
It was Southampton's first defeat of the season and Martin said Chris Rigg's stoppage-time goal, Sunderland's fifth of the afternoon, summed up the difference between the two teams on the day.
"It's really difficult to analyse but when you concede two early it completely changes the game plan and the context of the game," Martin said.
"We spoke about starting well against a young team who when the wind are in their sails, are very, very good. When they have a difficult start they can find it hard to get it back. It went for them today, brilliant energy. Everything they did well, they fought, won their duels with the ball, worked so hard to help each other.
"We didn't, we went into self-preservation mode and I think that's a bit of a hangover from last season.
"It's our first defeat but the manner of it really hurts. The most frustrating thing is what we've tried to learn from previous games is what hurt us today, and that has to stop. They have to want to help each off the ball, you just can't turn up and want to play when you're in possession.
"The first goal... we start well and put them under pressure with an early corner. We take it quickly even though we're not set up at all for that, and then 30 seconds later it's in our goal. It's unacceptable.
"The second and third goal we don't get up to the ball quick enough, so I feel really sorry for the supporters who came up because they were amazing. We have to make sure it's our toughest day together.
"You can't go 2-0 down here so early with this crowd. We actually responded well for a while but then the third goal goes in...
"We spoke at half time about showing togetherness but we went out looking sorry for ourselves. The fifth goal sums up, we let a guy do three turns in the middle of our half and then cross into the box. We have a 4v2 there in our favour and we concede. I'm pretty sure if one of our guys does that in our half, there's going to be some contact made on him. That's the difference between the two teams today.
"It's mentality and I have to take responsibility for that. I take responsibility for picking the team, I thought that was the team with the best mentality for the game
"You can't underestimate the nonsense of the last seven or eight weeks, even last night there were two late bids for players. It's carnage. But that's no excuse, we have to better than we were today.
"This is such a tough league and we now have more to prove than ever."