'My fear' - Southampton licking wounds as they head north for Leeds United finale

Russell Martin has had a tough week with Southampton ahead of Leeds United trip -Credit:Alex Burstow/Getty Images
Russell Martin has had a tough week with Southampton ahead of Leeds United trip -Credit:Alex Burstow/Getty Images

Three consecutive losses have quickly seen Southampton’s feel-good factor evaporate before they visit Leeds United next weekend. Russell Martin admits he is tired, the staff are tired and his players are tired after nine matches in 29 days.

The Saints, who are confirmed in fourth place now, had, nine days ago, been seen as a late contender for automatic promotion after the top three all stalled. However, narrow defeats to Cardiff City and Stoke City have sandwiched a 5-0 humbling at league leaders Leicester City.

With Leeds to come, Martin fears fans’ perspective of their entire season will be tainted by this 11th-hour collapse. Daniel Farke’s former charge is now relishing a full week to prepare for Elland Road.

READ MORE: Leeds United inquest keeps players at Thorp Arch for long day after QPR embarrassment

“It's been a disappointing week,” he said, according to Southern Daily Echo. “I really hoped we could bounce back after the last two defeats, but we haven't been able to do it.

“My fear is the last week will really change how people feel about the season. If we end up on the points we ended up in and won three games this week, it's a very different feeling.

“The players have done some amazing stuff, the fans have been amazing and then we end at home on that today and it's disappointing, but it's been a relentless schedule. Everyone's really tired, it's not an excuse about today.

“It's why we changed the team and made some changes to try and get some energy, but actually what we got is a little bit of a disruptive performance. It's a frustrating way to end it, but the end goal hasn't changed and we still can go on and achieve something incredible.

“Eleven games in 33 days (nine in 29), whatever it's been, it's been really tough. I'm knackered. I keep getting texts from my mum asking if I'm alright.

“She sees my interviews and they've got more and more tired as it's gone, but my energy has to go on all the players and all the staff. To then come out in front of you guys all the time and try and find the end, it's not easy, right?

“We have a week before the next game, it's a bit of recovery time, but also time to work on the training pitch which will be invaluable for us.”

Martin added: “It's just been so hard to keep, we can't, we haven't been able to train properly really.

“The lads have just been play, recover, try and get as much in the video room as we can, walkthroughs on the grass, but it's not the same as feeling it properly in training.”