Danny Fox admitted Saints’ first defeat of the season at Norwich yesterday was a “heart-wrenching” setback.
With Luke Shaw’s bruised knee restricting him to a place on the bench, Fox started his first Premier League game since his sending off in the 3-0 defeat at home to West Brom last April that ruled him out for the last three games of last season.
Saints have now only won one of their last nine Premier League games, that courtesy of Rickie Lambert’s late penalty on the opening day of the season at West Brom.
“It’s heart wrenching because they’ve really had one chance, a great strike from Nathan Redmond,” sighed left-back Fox.
The only goal came down Saints’ right flank, where Callum Chambers and James Ward-Prowse failed to stop fellow England teenager Redmond cutting on to his right foot and firing unerringly inside Artur Boruc’s right-hand upright.
By then Saints fans were already fuming following the penalty that was not given for Bradley Johnson’s handball.
Johnson used both hands to block Lallana’s first-half strike but World Cup final referee Howard Webb did not give it. “It was blatant handball,” said Fox. “At Newcastle last season a harsh penalty was given against me for handball – there needs to be consistency.”
Saints were nowhere near their best before suffering a first defeat in eight meetings with Norwich.
Fox continued: “We didn’t create as many chances as you’d expect with the players we have in the last third; Dani coming in for his first start, Rickie with his record, Adam Lallana’s play also speaks for itself and Prowsey has been brilliant so far this season.
“We’re disappointed we didn’t take the ones we did create. We didn’t play as well as we did in the previous two games, especially in the second half against Sunderland and at West Brom.
“The first few days after a defeat are always a bit down but we’ve now got two weeks to work on it, put things right and get everyone fit for the next game [against West Ham at St Mary’s a week on Sunday].”