Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert has hinted that the owners of his former club Southampton lack ambition -- and that is why so many key figures have left.
Mauricio Pochettino left his position as manager at St Mary's in May, heading to Tottenham, and since then a number of players have followed him out of the club.
Lambert joined Liverpool in June, with midfielder Adam Lallana and centre-back Dejan Lovren also swapping the south coast for Merseyside.
Left-back Luke Shaw has moved on to Manchester United, while defender Calum Chambers has joined Arsenal.
Lambert helped Liverpool begin their Premier League season with a 2-1 victory over Southampton at Anfield on Sunday.
While the 32-year-old England forward received a warm reception from the Saints fans, Lovren was booed by them.
Lambert told Fox Sports Australia: "Obviously a few of the players who have left have taken a bit of stick, but they'll take it -- that's football.
"It's been surprising that all of it has been on the players and not on the owners.
"There's obviously a reason why the gaffer went. That was the moment it became clear to the players what the ambition of the club was going to be."
Lambert, though, insisted that he still has a good rapport with Southampton's supporters.
He said: "I love the Southampton fans. I've got a good relationship with them so it was nice they acknowledged me in the way that they did.
"I tried to acknowledge them back in the same manner with the same respect. I've got nothing but respect for Southampton Football Club, the players and the fans."