Ronald Koeman Southampton side are lacking a desire and belief to win games.
The Dutchman's team is currently on a poor run of form that has seen them lose their last five matches including Tuesday night's Capital One Cup quarter final against League 1 Sheffield United.
The result will not have pleased Koeman but one thing that will have angered the 51-year-old even more is the lack of passion shown by his players.
Whilst the Saints were not expected to do so well against Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United, their form prior to those matches had been exceptional.
They then lost all three followed by another loss at Burnley last week after a missed penalty from Dusan Tadic was punished by Ashley Barnes' goal.
It brought them to the Capital One Cup match this week as slight favourites on form but more so on paper, however the recent run has knocked the confidence and they fell to defeat yet again.
Lacking in effort
The large Southampton following at Bramall Lane on Tuesday night would have gone home understanding if a moment of magic beat their hard-working side.
Unfortunately though, they lacked passion all evening which is something that will worry Koeman the most.
Without the energy of Steven Davis in midfield, the Saints seemed disjointed and missing some sort of emotion in the way they played as they slumped to defeat.
To make matters worse, midfielders Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama both went into the referee's notebook for the fifth time this season meaning they will sit out this weekend's match against Everton.
If the recent form was bad enough for Koeman, he now has to rejuvenate his side to take on the Toffee's without two of his key players.
It wasn't that long ago that Southampton sat second in the Premier League with Koeman talking of the Champions League. Now though they would happily take a point from their next match and use that to build on over the tricky Christmas period that will see them face Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Arsenal.
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