Palace were 3-0 down and heading for the Premier League relegation zone when the home faithful turned on Warnock following his decision to replace star playmaker Yannick Bolasie with defender Martin Kelly.
But Warnock defended his decision, claiming the winger was suffering from fatigue as his wife is due to give birth, while the Eagles boss also had one eye on Sunday’s huge clash against fellow strugglers QPR.
Goals from Sadio Mane, Ryan Bertrand and Toby Alderweireld secured victory for the visitors before Scott Dann headed a late consolation with Palace already resigned to a sixth straight game without a win.
“When you lose a game you’re responsible, I’ve no complaints about that,” Warnock said. “Bolasie’s wife is having a baby and he was tired before the game today.
“What with us playing at QPR in not much more than 24 hours, I thought we??would just save his legs a bit.
“You know when you take Bolasie off when you’re losing 3-0 you’re going to get??stick, but you just have to think about QPR really.
“I have no complaints, at 3-0 down, you’d be very surprised not to get a bit??of stick. I thought the players were very good today in the circumstances, they??were almost as shell-shocked as some of the fans.”
Palace paid the price for sub-standard defending, with Warnock conceding his side had contributed largely to their own downfall.
“You can’t concede goals like that – defending well and breaking has been our strength this season but the goals are all very poor,” Warnock added.
“Individually (who’s to blame) it’s not for me to say on record. I’ve told people in the dressing room what I feel about the goals, we’ve got to eliminate the mistakes.
“With all respect to them, it wasn’t Southampton’s fantastic play, it was the??defensive side of our game that needs re-tuning.
“If I was a player today I’d blame the manager, it’s always??easy to do that. The players know what I feel. We need everyone to be on top of their game. The goals are so poor.”
Warnock also revealed he had tabled offers for three strikers ahead of the January transfer window, although he did not confirm if Swansea forward Bafetimbi Gomis was a target.
“We’ve made offers for three strikers as I speak. We know we’re not going to??get them all,” Warnock said. “The chairman is dealing with it, he knows more than me about how close we??are.”