Stoke City’s Under-21s boss Glyn Hodges was left disappointed on Friday afternoon after his side fell to a 1-0 defeat against Southampton at the Weaver Stadium.
The Potters were the dominate side for long periods but failed to make their superiority count and were undone by the visitors’ only shot on target.
Hodges revealed to stokecityfc.com after the game that all his team are lacking at the moment is a killer instinct in front of goal to turn performances into results.
“I thought the lads played really well and created numerous opportunities, but it’s the same old story at the moment because we don’t seem to have that ruthlessness in front of goal,” the former Wales international said.
“I think if you can get that first goal it helps you to push on and we got in good positions but just lacked a little bit of quality.
“I can’t remember Dale Eve having to making a single save all game. In the first half especially, all the action was in their half and we kept the ball really well.
“We are getting the ball into the box but not taking our chances so we just need to keep working at it. We are either lacking the quality of pass in the final third or not having more composure in front of goal.
“I made the example to the boys afterwards about Southampton’s goal and the way their lad has got the ball out of his feet and finished it brilliantly because he showed great composure.”
The side included first-team members Maurice Edu, Jamie Ness and Matthew Etherington and Hodges was particularly pleased to see the latter come through the game unscathed.
“I thought the three senior lads contributed really well and worked hard for the team,” said Hodges.
“It was particularly important for Matty to get 60 minutes under his belt because he hasn’t played for a while.”
“It was a tough game but he has come through it fine so hopefully he is now fit and can add to it over the Christmas period.”