Hughes's press conference round-up

By SFC Media time Thu 13 Sep Saints v Brighton
Photo by James Bridle | Mark Hughes

Here's what Southampton manager Mark Hughes had to say in his press conference ahead of Saints' Premier League clash with Brighton & Hove Albion at St Mary's...

Recent form

“It was important to go into the break with two wins. It’s frustrating to have a break so early in the season, but it would’ve been worse after a poor result.

“A lot of players had fragmented pre-seasons after the World Cup. We were just seeing those players hit the levels they need.

“I’ve been pleased with our performances in the last three games (against Leicester, Brighton in the Carabao Cup and Crystal Palace).

“I feel we’re in a better position, not only in terms of our form and league position, but also physically.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 01: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg of Southampton celebrates during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Southampton FC at Selhurst Park on September 1, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Saints followed up their Carabao Cup win at Brighton with victory over Crystal Palace

Managing the international break

“We’re not playing until Monday, so we’ve been able to give the players a decent break with their families. 

“We’ve had 12 senior players still here, so we’ve been able to do some good work with them on the training pitch.

“The vast majority of the internationals are due back today. Then we’ll get more work done on Saturday and Sunday to build up to the game.”

Team news

“None of the internationals have reported injuries as we stand, so we’re hoping none are reported today.

“We have concerns with Shane Long (toe) and Charlie Austin (hamstring), who haven’t trained this week, but we’re hoping to have them back over the weekend.

“Danny (Ings) has a bad blister. He tore a chunk of skin off his foot against Everton and he was taking painkillers to stop the pain.

“He’s not having injections anymore and he’s back in training, so we’re hoping there are no more problems with that.”

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 11: Danny Ings during a Southampton FC training session at the Staplewood Campus on September 11, 2018 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Danny Ings is training as normal after suffering a painful blister on his foot

Chance for back-to-back Premier League wins 

“We’re looking forward to Monday. It’s been quite some time since we’ve had back-to-back wins in the Premier League (April 2017).

“A home game gives us the best opportunity to rectify that, and hopefully push into the top half of the table, with a view to staying there.

“It’ll be a good atmosphere under the lights. Our home form hasn’t been good enough, but this is a big opportunity for us. We mustn’t allow it to pass us by.”

Chris Hughton

“He’s done an outstanding job. He’s establishing them as a Premier League club – he’s an underrated manager who doesn’t get the recognition he deserves.

“It looks a good, stable club. They’ve got a lot of players who have grasped the opportunity to play in the Premier League, so we’re respectful of their talent.”

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 31: Chris Hughton during the Premier League match between Southampton and Brighton and Hove Albion at St Mary's Stadium on January 31, 2018 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Moorhouse/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Chris Hughton has overseen continual improvement since his appointment in 2014

Glenn Murray

“The older you get, the better your understanding of the game – I’m a better player now than ever, I just can’t run!

“Murray is very clever. He’s one of few types of his ilk. In my day, a lot of strikers used physical strength with their back to goal, but they’re not as prevalent as they used to be.”

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