After Tuesday’s Premier League match at St. Mary’s ended in a 2-1 loss to Southampton, Thomas Tuchel urged his team to show more grit.
Chelsea suffered their second loss in their opening five league games after goals from Romeo Lavia and Adam Armstrong offset an earlier goal from Raheem Sterling.
And a frustrated Tuchel bemoaned two “soft, soft, soft” goals before urging his team to adopt a more determined attitude.
“We are not tough enough to win these matches at the moment, away from home,” said Tuchel.
“It’s a bit the same story like in [the 3-0 defeat at] Leeds. In Leeds, we thought the problem was that we did not score in the first 20, 25 minutes.
“They put us off balance with two goals in two minutes at Leeds and we could not find answers.
“We scored, so we thought everything was okay, but one set-piece again, one sloppy defending again, and we are off balance. We did not react to it; we were lucky not to concede the third goal.
“We were not tough enough as a team to react or to push it over the line for us.”
Asked to review the goals, Chelsea conceded, Tuchel continued: “Soft, soft, soft. What stops that? Stop it by pure mentality.
“There is no superiority for the opponent, there is no need to get shots away, there is no need.
“Just toughen up as a team. And show the mentality. This is today my assessment.
“I don’t like to talk about it normally because you cannot prove it with the data, body position or with the tactical position in defeat. But it’s like this.
“Both goals are cheap goals, soft goals, and should not happen if you expect to win a Premier League match, a night game and an away game.
“With our demands and the ambitions we have, it’s even more important if key players are missing that we need to show a different mentality.
“It’s not enough at the moment to be defeated in Southampton. There’s no shame in it, we are humble enough to accept that we can lose football matches.
“But it’s too easy to push us off the track, it’s too easy to win challenges, it’s too easy to bully us.”