Steven Davis feels that Saints are right on course for the start of the new season following a goalless draw with Celta Vigo on Saturday.
Davis was one of 19 outfield players to play a part of the stalemate in Spain, after coming on as a half-time substitute in a match where the minutes were shared out amongst the squad once more.
Despite drawing a blank in front of goal in the penultimate match of the pre-season schedule, the Northern Irishman said that the performance showed that the squad is doing the right things ahead of the new season.
“In terms of possession I thought we kept the ball well,” Davis told Saints Player after the game. “We kept the ball moving, but maybe didn’t penetrate as we much as we would have liked.
“I think we had enough chances throughout the game that we should have won it in the 90 minutes.
“I don’t think they caused us too many problems,” he continued. “We managed to keep the ball well and our shape was pretty good, it was just a matter of putting the ball into the back of the net, which we weren’t able to do tonight, but we’re still able to take positives from the game.
“All in all, it was a good test for us and a good work out, everybody is looking fit and getting that sharpness that means we’re on the right road and the right progression for the first game of the season.”
Davis was the only Saints man to notch a penalty in the 4-1 shoot-out defeat to echo the familiar sound of an English team tasting defeat from the spot, but the midfielder was not too downbeat at missing the opportunity to land some early silverware.
“It’s just a bit of luck of the draw and their ‘keeper has pulled off a couple of decent saves,” Davis said. “He got his hand on my one, but their ones were good quality as well, which we didn’t have much chance with and that’s always the chance you take with penalties.”
With the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League campaign now less than a fortnight away, the former Fulham and Aston Villa man is already looking forward to renewing a few acquaintances in England’s top-flight, by building on the progressive workload over the summer months.
“Over the course of pre-season we’ve managed to test ourselves against different styles of play, against good opposition and it will be another step up in the game against Real Sociedad next week,” Davis highlighted.
“Pre-season is all about building your fitness and getting ready for the first game of the season, so now we’re getting that little bit closer everyone’s getting a bit more excited. We’ve got a lot to look forward to this year and hopefully we can get off to a good start at West Brom.
“I think we’ve had a good pre-season, with a lot of good work under our belts. There’s still room for improvement as always and over the next couple of weeks we’ll build it up and be ready come the West Brom game.”
Before the big kick-off at the Hawthorns, Saints round off their pre-season schedule with their only warm up match at St Mary’s next weekend, and Davis hoping to see a good turnout then to spur them on for the campaign ahead.
“I’m sure the fans will be looking to get behind us because like ourselves, they’ll be optimistic about the new season and I’m sure they’ll want to see how we’ve progressed in pre-season.,” he said.
“It’s a game that every one of the players is looking forward to. It’s back at St Mary’s, and it will be a good test for us because they (Sociedad) had a good campaign last year as well.”