Hughes urges Saints to make fans proud

By SFC Media time Sat 11 Aug Saints v Burnley
Photo by James Bridle | Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes is urging his players to inspire the Southampton supporters to create a wave of positivity around St Mary’s as the start of the Premier League season approaches.

Having watched most of their rivals go toe to toe already, Saints begin their new campaign at home to Burnley on Sunday (1.30pm kick-off).

Manager Hughes is keen to recreate the atmosphere that helped the club pull clear of relegation trouble towards the end of last season.

“It only comes if you produce on the field of play, by putting in performances that are committed and at a level that can affect the opposition,” he said.

“That’s what I’ve always tried to do with teams I’ve been in charge of. It’s always about trying to impose yourself on to the opposition in front of you.

“If we can do that, certainly at home where there’s no reason why we can’t, everybody is going to come along and enjoy the ride.”

Visitors Burnley have already played three competitive games in Europa League qualifying this season, including a 0-0 draw with Istanbul Basakshekir in the Turkish capital on Thursday night.

“It’s a difficult one,” the boss continued. “A lot of people think that, because they played in Europe on Thursday, the stats show it’s more difficult to win the following Premier League game on a Sunday.

“It’s a little bit different in these circumstances because they’ve had more competitive games than we’ve had, so any advantage we would likely gain from their travelling is negated by the fact that they’ve had more competitive 90 minutes.

“We’ll have to wait and see, but it’s up to us to start brightly, and if there’s any lethargy in their bodies from travelling to Turkey, maybe we can capitalise on that.”

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