Hughes pleased with preparations

By SFC Media Fri 26 Oct Saints v Newcastle
Photo by Matt Watson | Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes reflected on a good week at Staplewood ahead of the Premier League clash with Newcastle, as his side look to build on an encouraging display at Bournemouth last time out.

Saints earned a 0-0 draw at their south coast neighbours last weekend, producing a performance that arguably merited more, and now head into a big clash with the top-flight's bottom-placed side this Saturday.

"It's been a good week," said Hughes. "I think we had a lot of confidence from how we played.

"The disappointment on the day clearly was that we didn't take the chances that we created, because they were good chances – chances that we need to take if we're going to get the points that we feel our performances deserve. So that was the only negative.

"In terms of the performance, I thought it was really good, really accomplished. Everybody understood what we needed to do to stop Bournemouth really getting into a frame of mind or a mindset that they were going to play really well.

"I think we frustrated them. Not by being negative, but just by virtue of our gameplan and being on the front foot and being positive in what we were doing, so on the day I thought we were the better team."

Hughes now hopes that display can provide the platform for a first home victory of the campaign.

"We want to continue in the same vein," he said. "I thought there was good elements to our play, and things we were starting to do automatically, which enabled us to work collectively.

"All the units obviously kept their distances very well during the game, and a lot of the fundamentals that we talked about during the international break, they were on show and evident in our play, so that was reassuring.

"That tells me the guys are taking on board information. Sometimes you worry if you give too much information how much actually is absorbed, or how much they can actually use in the heat of the battle, but I thought to a man they understood exactly what we were up against and what we had to do to be effective."

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