Southampton midfielder Oriol Romeu has jumped to the defence of under-fire manager Mauricio Pellegrino, amid calls for his sacking from the club’s supporters.

The Spaniard addressed the media following his side’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool, which leaves them sat in 18th place on the Premier League table.

Saints have won just five Premier League games all season and have been struggling to string together a good run of performances. This has seen them slip further and further down the table and it seems they are in trouble.

Romeu, though, as quoted by the Daily Mail, has insisted that it is down to the players to step up and perform, instead of hiding behind Pellegrino.

It’s not the manager’s problem: we’re the ones playing, and the ones that have to change this. It’s conceding many things to the opponent, and when we’re playing away, maybe we’re not defending well enough – set-pieces – and teams are strong in that regard.

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This season we’ve conceded too many easy goals. Then closing the game down: we’ve had too many times when we’ve lost points in the last minutes, so we need to know how to close the games, how to play under pressure, and then we’ll know how to get points.

Saints now face a crucial period in the Premier League and they will be keen to bounce back from such an underwhelming performance against Liverpool at St Mary’s on Sunday.

It’s going to be very, very tight until the end (of the season). Every point’s going to be important, and we came here today to get points.

However, they will turn their attention towards the FA Cup fifth round before they look back to the Premier League, with the team set to take on West Brom at the Hawthorns this weekend.