(Reuters) - Southampton must find the right balance between a fast-paced offence and a solid defence that prevents counter-attacks if they are to improve results, midfielder Oriol Romeu said ahead of Saturday's Premier League game against Burnley.
Southampton are 10th in the standings after winning three and drawing four of their opening 10 games but the Saints have struggled to score, notching just nine goals in the competition so far.
Former Chelsea midfielder Romeu believes that the team are restricted by the fear of giving away goals on the counter.
"Whenever we play against these teams we know how good they are defensively," Romeu was quoted as saying by the Daily Echo.
"They (opponents) are clever, they are ready to run and recover and go for the counter-attack and that's hard, because if you try and attack too much you can get killed by a counter-attack.
"We need to find that balance between being creative and offensive and not being punished by a counter-attack."
The 26-year-old urged his team to be quicker on the ball to drag opposition players out of position and capitalise more on their goal-scoring chances.
"We'd love to all be more creative and make a difference in the last third, but that's difficult," the Spaniard added.
"We need to be quicker with the ball, make them (opponents) run and pull them out of place. That will give us a bigger chance to get to the box and get more chances."
Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina, who missed last week's 1-1 draw with Brighton due to an ankle injury, has been ruled out of Saturday's clash, while forward Charlie Austin could get his first league start of the campaign.
(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru)