There are arguably more lessons to be learned in defeat than victory and Ralph Hasenhuttl will surely have been given food for thought after what he witnessed in Newcastle.

The first half performance was unquestionably the worst 45 minutes Saints have produced during his time in charge of the club.

After half time changes the second was far better.

The accusation that Saints took their foot off the gas after a terrific recent run is far too simplistic a verdict.

Whether motivation was a contributing factor or not, the finer detail of what went wrong surely lay in the team picked to start the match and the difficult choices that Hasenhuttl faced.

Some felt he got the team selection wrong. Surely more pertinent is that it took so little damage to his squad for things to unravel that it underlined the amount of work to be done this summer.

Yan Valery was taken ill on Friday night and had to be sent home. Jannik Vestergaard had been struggling and the decision was taken he couldn’t play.

Just having those two missing caused carnage in the Saints defence and seemed to unsettle the whole side.

The danger of having just one player for a position was highlighted by Valery’s absence.

Maybe Kayne Ramsay is one for the future but Hasenhuttl clearly didn’t have the faith to start him in this game. Therefore, wanting to keep three centre halves, he was forced to play James Ward-Prowse there.

Despite his best efforts, Ward-Prowse is not a natural right wing back, and by playing him there you lose a guy in midfield whose performances have been so strong he’s been called up for England.

Alongside him as the right sided centre half was Jack Stephens who has barely played in recent weeks. Newcastle had an area to try and exploit, which they did.

Maya Yoshida is comfortable on the left side of the three centre halves but due to his experience was kept in the centre. With Vestergaard out it meant the right sided centre back, Jan Bednarek, playing on the left. After fantastic recent form he struggled badly in a different role.

Those were not the only issues – for example, Josh Sims again struggled when getting a chance to cement a regular starting berth and Danny Ings is still searching for sharpness – but it all just underlined how wafer thin Hasenhuttl’s squad is when it comes to players he will pick.

At least one positive was the return of Mario Lemina, who gave his manager a real boost with a good second half showing and a goal, along with the spirit and character the team showed to give it a good go at making a comeback rather than accepting their fate.

The result ultimately didn’t really matter that much, but the lessons Hasenhuttl and Saints take from it could have a significant bearing on the future.