Hughes: We're ready to go

By SFC Media Fri 13 Apr Saints v Chelsea
Photo by Matt Watson | Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes heads into his first home match in charge of Southampton with confidence, after taking encouragement from how the players have bought into his instructions and methods.

Saints welcome Chelsea to St Mary's on Saturday, knowing that a win would lift them out of the Premier League's bottom three, at least temporarily.

Having come close to a surprise result at Arsenal last weekend, thanks to a strong showing at Emirates Stadium, and with another full week of hard work under their belts at Staplewood Campus, Hughes is optimistic ahead of the game.

confidence hasn't diminished in any way, shape or form. we're ready to go.

mark hughes
southampton manager

"We've got a better understanding in terms of what we're trying to achieve in games," he said.

"When you go into games, you know there's certain things players individually and collectively need to understand.

"I think we've just been trying to give the players a bit more clarity in terms of what we do when we're trying to attack and when we're out of possession and at risk. If teams are attacking us, we've got to do the right things in defensive situations.

"Clearly, if we can give ourselves a platform and start getting clean sheets on the board we're going to be in a better position to win games, because clearly we've got talent at the top end of the pitch that can create chances and take them."

With an improved showing in the 3-2 defeat at Arsenal, following on from the chastening 3-0 loss at West Ham a week earlier, Hughes feels his side are well set ahead of a busy week or so that also includes a trip to Leicester and the FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea.

"Clearly after the West Ham game, any momentum we were hoping to get from the cup game [against Wigan] had been dissipated, so we needed to have a good performance, which I felt we did against Arsenal, albeit we didn't get the result we all wanted," he said.

"But confidence hasn't been diminished in any way, shape or form. We're ready to go. We've had another good week and we'll get the benefit of that. It's a busy week and one that will test us, but we're all ready for it and ready for the challenge."

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