REUTERS – Southampton captain Jose Fonte believes the rigours of the international break cost the Saints all three points against Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday.
The Saints threw away a two-goal lead against the Foxes after in-form striker Jamie Vardy scored twice in the final 25 minutes to record his ninth league goal in as many games as Leicester rallied for a 2-2 draw.
With only one player in the starting lineup not representing their country during the recent international break, Fonte says the side suffered a lapse in concentration due to fatigue after a gruelling schedule.
“We had people on international duty, a lot of players have been away and they came back tired as you can see today,” Fonte was quoted as saying by the British media.
“We were tired and because Leicester don’t have many players like us, in the national team, I think it showed.
“It’s hard, but it is something we need to learn from,” he added.
Team mate James Ward-Prowse was critical of his side for conceding poor goals but remains confident that Southampton will learn from their mistakes.
“The lack of concentration, I thought the goals were quite sloppy, I think they could have been avoided,” Ward-Prowse told the club’s website (www.saintsfc.co.uk).
“It is two points dropped. Having been 2-0 up, we have to learn from it and move on,” the England under-21 skipper added.
Southampton, who are eighth in the table, next travel to 10th-placed Liverpool for new Reds boss Juergen Klopp’s first league game at Anfield on Sunday.
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien)