Timm Klose says Norwich need to pick themselves up and redouble their efforts to avoid the drop after a nightmare return to action against Southampton.
Having waited 104 days to resume their Premier League campaign, Daniel Farke’s bottom-placed side desperately needed a win at an empty Carrow Road to inject renewed hope into their survival bid.
But a bright Norwich start was followed by a dominant Southampton display, with Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men roaring to a deserved 3-0 victory thanks to second-half goals from Danny Ings, Stuart Armstrong and Nathan Redmond.
“We’re disappointed,” Canaries defender Klose said. “After such a long time to be back in the squad, you wish you can come back with the win.
“We had a very good first half. I think we created a lot but unfortunately we couldn’t score. We destroyed ourselves after the first 10 minutes of the second half.
“It was then very hard to come back against an experienced team. We were running at them without any real success.
“Sometimes that’s football unfortunately. We have to take it, it is a mental challenge now. I’m positive that we can get as many points as possible in the next eight games.
“I think it will cause some negative energy over the next two days because we wanted to win that game so badly. But as I said, after tomorrow we have to look forward to the next game to win it.”
Klose wore the captain’s armband against Saints and managed the full 90 minutes on his first Premier League start of the season.
The 32-year-old suffered knee ligament damage in the Carabao Cup clash at Crawley in August, with the coronavirus suspension giving him time to build fitness.
“It’s 10 months since my last game,” Klose said. “Of course, I feel very happy to be out there again. You want to do your best and play at your highest level.
“What can I say? If you concede three goals, you can’t say you played well. I have to take the blame for that as well. I have to analyse what I can do better.
“Two goals were a bit too easy. All in all, I’m very happy to be back but losing a game is never nice.”
While Norwich are left staring down the barrel, Southampton are looking up the table after Hasenhuttl celebrated his new four-year deal with a victory that took them 10 points above the drop zone.
Saints midfielder Armstrong, who scored after assisting the opener, said: “Our perseverance was good.
“We didn’t start fantastic but it’s the first game back after a strange spell out which is always going to be the case.
“I think we just kept at it and the longer the game went on the better we got, so that’s pleasing and I hope that continues throughout the next few games.
“A goal means a lot for me personally and for the team so I was really pleased with it.
“It’s strange, you are used to noise and fans and it’s sad not to have them but it’s very good to have football back.
“The atmosphere is nothing as you have seen but it still felt like an away game coming to a difficult place against a good team and we’re very happy with our performance.”