Southampton end the year bottom as Nathan Jones blames 'naivety' in defence following Fulham loss

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Saints will begin 2023 at the foot of the Premier League after Joao Palhinha struck two minutes from time.

James Ward-Prowse thought he had secured a first point under new boss Nathan Jones after scoring with a trademark free-kick to cancel out his own own-goal, after he deflected in Andreas Pereira's shot. But Palhinha's far-post header from a corner left Southampton rock bottom going into the new year. "To have that level of performance and to come out with nothing is very frustrating," said Jones. "We showed at times we can be a good team, but we can't keep conceding goals if we want to pick up points. Today was a much-improved performance level. "We have to defend our box and there's lessons to be learned. There's a good side in there, but at the minute we're not giving ourselves a chance. "There's a naivety to our defending which is costing us games. I'm really pleased with the level of performance but absolutely devastated at the manner we conceded."

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