Hughes wants to see ruthless streak

By SFC Media time Sat 24 Nov Fulham v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Mark Hughes

Southampton manager Mark Hughes has been focusing on improving the team's conversion rate as they head into a big Premier League clash with Fulham this afternoon.

Saints, who are 17th, visit Craven Cottage to face the division's bottom side, with both sides knowing three points would provide a significant boost to their situation.

Hughes has been pleased with parts of his team's play, but has been working with the squad in the build-up to the game on how they can turn more of their opportunities into goals.

"You've seen elements of what we've done well in almost every game," he said.

"Clearly we create chances, but the key from our point of view is we've got to start upping our conversion rate. It is low.

fulham are close to us and it's an opportunity to take maximum points.

mark hughes
saints manager



"We get lots of shots off and, for whatever reason – either we're shooting too early, or too quickly, or we're waiting too long, or shooting when we should pass, or passing when we should shoot – I think that decision-making at the top end of the pitch, if we can start improving that then we can change half-chances into clear-cut chances.

"If we do that then we score more goals. That's what we've talked about along with the work we do defensively, which for the most part I'm pleased enough with, notwithstanding Man City.

"It's about pulling together all the elements that we've done well and understanding where we need to improve. We're constantly talking about that individually and collectively about what we need to do to take maximum points."

Hughes, whose counterpart Claudio Ranieri is taking charge of his first game as Fulham boss, added: "It's always important, whether you're top, middle or bottom, that you take points off the teams in and around you.

"Clearly Fulham are close to us and it's an opportunity to take maximum points in our view.

"It's a little bit difficult to really gauge where they're at in terms of preparation. From our point of view, we're not quite sure which way they will go, in terms of formation, and obviously personnel might change because of the new manager, so for us it's even more difficult than we anticipated because they made a change, but it's about what we do. 

"We've got to go there and make sure we execute what we've talked about and what we've prepared for, and if we do that then they'll find it very difficult."

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