Under-pressure Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl says he cannot afford to expend energy thinking about his future after his side were booed off following another disappointing home defeat.
Struggling Saints saw their winless run at St Mary’s stretch to eight Premier League matches after slipping to a 2-1 loss to Everton.
Hasenhuttl’s men were back on home soil for the first time since their 9-0 drubbing by Leicester but failed to produce a winning response as Richarlison hit a deserved 75th-minute winner for the Toffees.
The south coast club, who levelled five minutes into the second period through Danny Ings following Tom Davies’ early opener, remain entrenched in the relegation zone.
Austrian Hasenhuttl, whose team were jeered at the end of each half but more vociferously following an uninspiring opening 45 minutes, accepted the reaction of the fans but was not interested in discussing his job security.
“Absolutely understandable that nobody is happy with our performance, absolutely. I was also not happy in the half-time,” he said.
“To be clear, I need all my energy to find answers to other questions (not about his future). Questions that are more focused on how we play and what we can do better and this is all I do the whole day. I’m here and therefore I try to be strong.
“In the moment I feel disappointed because we lost the game.
“This is the only thing I feel and everything else is not interesting for me. I try to stay focus when I come tomorrow to my team to give them answers for what happens in the moment.”
Saints have lost four successive home league games for the first time since leaving The Dell in the 2001.
Hasenhuttl felt Davies’ fourth-minute header drained his players of confidence and accused them of initially lacking bravery and quality, before an improved second-half showing.
“Normally you don’t get anything in football if you play like we played in the first half. It was, again, a very, very early goal, first chance, first goal, like very often in our home games,” he said.
“And after this goal you could feel the lack of self-confidence. All we prepared for this game was gone in that moment.
“Nobody wanted to have the ball any more and the spaces we wanted to use nobody saw them and not brave enough and not good enough.”
Everton’s success should have been secured by a greater margin.
The result ended an eight-game run without a Premier League away win to give Marco Silva a much-needed boost and catapult them up the table.
Manager Silva dismissed suggestions he had been feeling pressure in the build-up to the match following just one win from the Toffees’ previous seven top-flight fixtures.
“Pressure on myself? No, never. Pressure, why? If you talk about the football and not so much about speculation it would be different,” said the Portuguese.
“But I never feel pressure. It’s good for me because I don’t read what is written. Football is always a privilege. Being manager in Everton is always a privilege. Playing to win a game is always a privilege.
“For me it’s the way I look to life and to my job. My players came here with a clear goal to win a football match, nothing more.
“We knew before the match they (Southampton) would react. They had their worst moment this season against Leicester here and for sure they wanted to show their character.
“Pressure I put on myself every single day and on my staff and my players to be better every single day. All the other things, rumours and whatever, I didn’t lose one second thinking of that.”