Southampton boss reveals what Newcastle United are the best in the Premier League at

The Southampton boss provided his verdict on his side’s 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final.

Southampton boss Nathan Jones believes his side did not deserve to lose to Newcastle United, who he labelled “the most athletic side” in the Premier League.

The Magpies gained a 1-0 advantage heading into next week’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg decider at the sellout St James’ Park after Joelinton’s 73-minute goal.

It was a narrow victory, as the scoreline suggested, with Nick Pope twice denying Che Adams and VAR coming to United’s rescue to disallow Adam Armstrong’s equaliser for handball.

“I thought it was a real good game, an entertaining game,” Jones said. “They (Newcastle) came here to try and win, we tried to win. They are a big, strong, powerful well-drilled side and I thought we competed with that.

Southampton manager Nathan Jones. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

“In the first-half, we didn’t quite the press right but second half I thought we were excellent. The goal came against the run of play as we had one or two glorious chances before that.

“To concede in the manner we did… look they’ve missed a good chance when Joelinton put one over the bar but the goal we conceded should never have come about.

“I’m happy with the level of performance we’re showing, we just have to be a bit more clinical.”

Jones added: “We looked vulnerable in transition against the most athletic side in the league. There is no quicker, powerful or more aggressive side. I don’t think any of them - a part from Trippier - are under six foot.

“We wanted to be bold and brave and I thought our level of performance was excellent against a top four Premier League side. I watched the game here two months, categorical difference.”