Walcott pleased with response to challenging week


After a difficult week, winger Theo Walcott was delighted with Saints’ response which saw them move off the foot of the Premier League table.

Charly Alcaraz’s first half strike was the difference at St Mary’s, as Rubén Sellés side dug in to stave off Leicester and recover from disappointing defeats to Leeds and Grimsby in the last seven days.

Claiming a second win in three Premier League outings, the 33-year-old reflected on a week that included some harsh truths and open discussions.

“It’s a fantastic result,” he said. “The performance wasn’t there, I’ll be brutally honest, but it was a result of a team playing together and working hard.

“It’s been a challenging week. We had a very disappointing midweek game against Grimsby which was unacceptable, but we bounced back and that’s what mattered today, three points in the Premier League and we’re not that team at the bottom of the table, which is really important.

“We’ve had a lot of truths said behind closed doors which is really important for the not just the players to hear, but staff as well. Really important for senior players but even younger players to speak out which is absolutely fine. And we needed that.

“But you can speak and talk as much as you want as long as you do it on the field and today, considering the performance wasn’t spectacular, I enjoyed seeing a team working hard for each other and wanting to get the result, wanting to grind it out. Charly pretty much playing with one leg and he’s managed to play on, so I’m pleased for the boys as it's been challenging for everyone.”

Now within one point of safety, Walcott is looking for Saints to build on the win over the Foxes, prioritising results over performances.

“We just need to keep it going now,” he said. “We haven’t had this consistency for most of the season, not winning too often here as well, so knowing we’re not in the bottom is a really good feeling, it really is, but we need to make sure we recover well and continue this learning and continue grinding results out.

“Frankly, I don’t care how we play, as long as we get results but that’s just me, some players like to play pretty football. Now we’ll be getting results and you’ll have people like me driving that because it’s all that matters now and it’s very important to hear and see certain people at the club what it means to them, and today I saw that from not just players playing but players on the bench, players not involved, staff, it was one unit today and that’s what we want to be at this football club.”