Ruben Selles has called for bottom-of-the-table Southampton to be more robust if they are to secure shock survival from the Premier League.
Saints remain six points off 17th-placed Leeds and continue their fight for top-flight status away at fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest on Monday.
And interim boss Selles has made a plea for his side’s improvement as time begins to run out ahead of their final four games of the campaign.
“We need to be more robust as a team in those periods where we are not so good, try to keep the game still in our hands. We know we can start well or make a comeback against anybody so it is just about having that robustness having that long period in the game,” he said.
“Maybe making some substitutions, maybe making or creating something on the pitch, maybe controlling more of the ball, maybe playing more forward, those things we are working on to try to become that team.”
Southampton failed to win against high flyers Arsenal and Newcastle last month despite taking the lead in both games.
Selles admitted the respective atmospheres at Emirates and St James’ Park made it difficult for his side to hold on to their lead – Arsenal scored two late goals to draw 3-3 and Newcastle score three second-half goals to win 3-1.
He added: “I think we can learn from the environments that are extremely hard to play at (Arsenal and Newcastle).
“If I’m being honest they’re one of the best there can be because, in those kind of games you have to elevate yourself against yourself and make yourself better.”
Injury-stricken Saints have lost key players at a pivotal stage in their season with both Mohammed Salisu and Romain Perraud being ruled out for the final run-in.
Selles insisted he will not use their absences to justify Southampton’s form which saw them last win a Premier League game on March 4.
“It is not to find excuses, we should be better and with the number of players we should replace them with players at least as good as them. Of course there is some situations in terms of how we go and play the game, situations how we manage some of the advantages that we got,” he said.