Ryan Bertrand says the race for fifth spot is very much alive ahead of Southampton’s trip to Sunderland this weekend.
Bertrand, who last Sunday was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year, says Liverpool’s defeat to Hull City in midweek has kept it all to play for ahead of the final four games of the season.
But the left-back is well aware of the challenge that Sunderland will pose this weekend, despite Saints’ stunning 8-0 win against them earlier in the campaign.
“It was a great result for us seeing Hull beat Liverpool, it’s alive,” Bertrand told youtube.com/southamptonfc. “We’re going to go into the next three games to get maximum points.
“That leads us up to the big one at the end of the season. I think the game plan was the same even before the result the other night.
“We haven’t sat down, the game plan doesn’t change. We will go at it and try and pick up as many points as we can.
“Sunderland are really fighting for their lives so I’m sure each player will be putting in 110 per cent. It’s up to us to be right at it and expect a good performance from them.
“I think they are in a difficult position at the moment so they have to look at it and come and get the full points. It should be quite an open game.”
Bertrand played his part in that incredible 8-0 win against the Black Cats at St Mary’s earlier on in the season, when three own goals were added to by strikes from Dušan Tadić, Jack Cork, Victor Wanyama and two from Graziano Pellè.
While it’s unlikely to happen again on Saturday, Bertrand believes that defeat may well be in the back of the minds of some of the Sunderland players come kick-off.
“It was a freak day (the 8-0 win), a very good day,” Bertrand added. “It was something very special to be part of and it’s something that doesn’t happen too often.
“They are only human and you can see why that could play on their minds, especially being in the tight position they are in.
“But I’m sure they will do everything they can to nullify us in certain aspects of our play to make sure they get the result. We can’t allow that to happen.”