February 13, 2018 / 7:51 AM / a year ago

Blame players, not Pellegrino, for Southampton's slump - Romeu

Soccer Football - Premier League - Southampton vs Liverpool - St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Britain - February 11, 2018 Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino looks on Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

(Reuters) - Southampton players, and not manager Mauricio Pellegrino, must take the blame for the Premier League club’s dismal form, midfielder Oriol Romeu has said.

Pellegrino has come under increasing pressure as Southampton have won only one of their last 14 league games, and five overall, to drop into the relegation zone with 11 matches remaining in the campaign.

“It’s not the manager’s problem,” Romeu told British media. “We are the ones playing, and the ones that have to change this.”

With teams in the bottom-half being separated by close margins, Southampton lie four points behind 11th-placed Watford and Romeu has urged his team mates to solve their problems and climb up the table as the relegation battle heats up.

“This season we have conceded too many easy goals. Then closing the game down, we have had too many times when we have lost points in the last minutes, so we need to know how to close the games, how to play under pressure, and then we will know how to get points,” Romeu added.

“It is going to be very, very tight until the end (of the season). Every point is going to be important.”

Southampton take on West Bromwich Albion in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday before returning to league action against seventh-placed Burnley on Feb. 24.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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