Hughes: Everyone together!

By SFC Media Sat 05 May Everton v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes had seen something similar before.

The roar that greeted the full-time whistle against Bournemouth came only last weekend, but for the Saints boss it could just as easily have been 19 years previously.

It was 1999 when Hughes was part of the Southampton team that completed a famous great escape, winning their last three and going unbeaten in their final five to save their top-flight status.

Now back as manager, Hughes is hoping to oversee another successful Premier League survival bid, and the memories of those days almost two decades ago were stirred again by the incredible atmosphere generated at St Mary's a week ago.

"It was very, very similar," said Hughes. "That was the one thing I remember from that time, was how everybody came together and just worked exceptionally hard.

if you give performances of desire and determination your fans will forgive you a lot. i think that's what we've shown.

mark hughes
southampton manager

"Everyone was very positive and got behind everything the team was trying to do, and the fans got us over the line.

"The last two home games I've been really impressed with what the crowd's given us. Clearly, maybe this season that relationship between the crowd and the team has been more difficult, and maybe there's been a little bit of negativity around, but I have to say I haven't experienced it.

"We've had two good performances and, if you give performances of desire and determination, your fans will forgive you a lot of mistakes, because they can see you're trying your best and I think that's what we've shown, certainly in the two home games I've been involved in, and I think that's why the crowd are with us.

"Hopefully with everyone pushing together in the same direction it will get us over the line."

It all gives Hughes further hope that Saints, who head to Everton today, can secure what could be a pivotal three points.

"We had fantastic support from everyone in the stadium, and that's going to be vitally important," he said.

"Clearly we'll have an away support and we've got to make sure we give them something to cheer."

The positive atmosphere in the stands last Saturday has also been mirrored throughout the week at Staplewood Campus.

"Any time you've come off a great performance and a great result, it's easier than if you come off the back of a poor performance and a poor result, so it goes without saying the atmosphere around the place has been very good, but it's been good in recent weeks," said Hughes.

"We've had decent enough performances, but maybe not got as much reward from those as we would have liked, but I think people can see there's a little bit of purpose in our play, there's the desire and a real determination to get something out the games now and we've got to carry that through.

"We had a huge result and performance against Bournemouth last time out, and we've got to continue in the same vein.

"We'll head up north, we'll try to get the job done against Everton and once that's out the way we'll focus on the next one. It's as simple as that."

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