Saints boss Martin apologises to fans for Foxes rout

Southampton manager Russell Martin during the Championship match between Leicester City and Southampton FC at The King Power Stadium
Martin insists Saints "can still achieve something special" via the play-offs [Getty Images]

Southampton boss Russell Martin has issued an apology to supporters who travelled to Leicester after their humiliating 5-0 defeat on Tuesday.

The Saints were outclassed and are now six points adrift of the automatic promotion places with two games left and a far inferior goal difference.

"I want to apologise to the fans," Martin told BBC Radio Solent.

"We’re going to need them in the next few games to pick the lads up."

After defeat at Cardiff on Saturday and Tuesday's thrashing at the King Power Stadium, Martin's side look destined for the play-offs with a 19-goal difference between them and second-placed Leeds United.

Saints have failed to capitalise when their promotion rivals have dropped points, with only three wins in their last eight games.

Despite their disappointment in all but missing out on automatic promotion, Martin still believes his side can make it to the Premier League.

"We can still go and achieve something special," he added.

"We can look back on this night at Leicester as something that was really important for us."

Saints will finish the Championship regular season with a home game against 17th-placed Stoke City on Saturday before travelling to face Leeds on the final day, 4 May.

The first legs of the play-offs will take place on 12 May with the semi-final between the teams finishing fourth and fifth set for 14:15 BST on that date.

Should Saints progress to the play-off final, it will be held at Wembley Stadium on 26 May.

If Southampton fail to secure promotion back to the Premier League, they will face bitter rivals Portsmouth in the Championship next season.

The two sides haven't met since 2019 when Saints won 4-0 in the League Cup at Fratton Park.

The Blues were recently crowned winners of League One, sealing their return to England's second tier for the first time in 12 years.