Mauricio Pellegrino has warned his Southampton players he is ready to ditch anyone that is not fully committed to the club.
Pellegrino was forced to apologise to Saints fans on Wednesday night after his side endured a humiliating 4-1 defeat at home to Leicester.
Southampton were three down at half-time at St Mary’s and their abject display earned them a chorus of boos at the end.
They now face a trip to third-placed Chelsea on Saturday and Pellegrino admits he has had to remind his players of their responsibilities.
“When I talk about a lack of connection it is when you are not mentally 100 per cent on the pitch,” Pellegrino said.
“In difficult moments for me obviously you have to come back to the foundations of the team, to the discipline of the team, and get them to think about the possibility they have to be in this club and in the Premier League.
“Not too many players are in this situation. Obviously we have to start to choose the players that want to help the club 100 per cent.
“They are human beings and sometimes they don’t have a good moment. I understand this. But their behaviour has to be committed with the club 100 per cent.”
Southampton sacked Claude Puel, now in charge at Leicester, after finishing eighth in the table last season but they now sit 11th and only four points above the relegation zone.
After Chelsea, they face Huddersfield, Tottenham and Manchester United before the turn of the year and Pellegrino indicated the club may well look to strengthen in January.
“We are thinking about it, we have some options,” Pellegrino said.
“We have enough in the squad but we are thinking about where we can do some movement.
“I cannot say anything about that. The market offers you not too many possibilities in December. You have to think about players in other leagues or in the Premier League that are not playing too much.”
Pellegrino has a fully fit squad to choose from for the visit to Stamford Bridge. Charlie Austin could be rested after playing three games in 10 days, with Manolo Gabbiadini an option to come in.