Southampton head coach and former Norwich City captain Russell Martin made no attempt to hide his frustration after a 3-2 defeat to Ipswich Town.

The Canaries will face their bitter rivals less than five days after they registered a crucial win against the Saints, coming from behind to snatch all three points with a 97th-minute winner.

The visitors had 65pc of possession at Portman Road and were 2-1 up for 45 minutes after an impressive first-half turnaround.

They squandered several chances before James Bree's late sending off and Brighton loanee Jeremy Sarmiento's game-sealing strike for the Tractor Boys, and Martin was left exasperated by a result he felt was unjust post-match.

"We were the best team. We didn't deserve to lose," he said. "We came here, we had 17 shots on goal, created five huge chances, we missed three, they had relatively little until late on, at 2-1 we responded amazingly well to a poor goal to concede.

"If you were at the game, if you were feeling it and watching it, you know we were the dominant team and we should go on to win the game.

"But we missed two massive chances, we got down to 10 men and they take theirs. Even at 2-2, I thought we were going to win the game. With 10 men Brooksy (David Brooks) goes through in the box, squares it and we nearly score. 

"So I'm so proud of the players. If we play like that between now and the end of the season we'll be right in it still, I think."

The south coast club now trail second-placed Leeds United by 12 points and face an uphill battle to be promoted automatically even with two games in hand. Martin, who was reported to have complained about negative questioning as he exited his post-match press call, still feels it's possible, however.

"I don't know if it's gone," he continued. "We have eight games. If we play like I really think we can win all eight.

"That would put us on 98 points and I don't think anyone's ever not got promoted with that. We'll still aim for it whilst it's possible.

"I'm not sitting here saying it's not a blow. It hurts a lot. We'll know how much of a blow it is in four weeks' time."