Kick-off a new month with all the latest developments from Southampton Football Club, on and off the pitch, in our latest Monday Briefing.
Unlucky Saints fall to Villa defeat
Southampton suffered another frustrating evening on home turf on Saturday evening, as a single first-half strike was enough to earn visiting side Aston Villa all three points at St Mary's.
Saints had the right to feel aggrieved by a number of controversial talking points, not least a contentious penalty decision, with VAR letting potential offender Matty Cash off the hook for what looked to be a definite handball.
Danny Ings had the ball in the back of the net in the fourth minute of time added on, but again VAR conspired against Saints, with Ings judged to be offside by the finest of margins – in fact, only Ings's arm was beyond the last defender.
B team beaten at West Ham
Southampton's B team's return to Premier League 2 action ended in defeat at West Ham on Friday night.
West Ham took the lead against the run of play in the 26th minute after a strong Saints start, Mipo Odubeko finishing off a fast break counter to give the hosts the lead. The Hammers’ second came in the 38th minute, Odubeko once again the man to finish off the counter with an emphatic close-range finish.
Kazeem Olaigbe got Saints back in the game just past the hour mark; Ryan Finnigan closing down the Hammers defence well before finding Olaigbe who made no mistake with a curled finish, but any sort of comeback was quickly quashed, as Daniel Chesters made it three with a near-post finish.
February fixtures update
Details of Southampton’s remaining games in February have been confirmed.
The visit to Newcastle will remain on Saturday 6th February, at 3pm GMT, but will now be shown live on BT Sport, with the Premier League game at home to Wolves moved to Sunday 14th February, with kick-off set for midday, and Amazon Prime broadcasting the fixture.
Meanwhile, the Emirates FA Cup tie at Molineux will take place on Thursday 11th February, kicking off at 5.30pm GMT live on BT Sport.
Concussion substitutions trial to start
The Football Association and the Premier League have successfully applied to the International Football Association Board (IFAB) to introduce additional permanent concussion substitutions trials across the Premier League, Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship and Emirates FA Cup.
The dates for the introduction of the trials include:
Premier League – from 6th February 2021
Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship – from 6th February 2021
Emirates FA Cup – from the Fifth Round, 9th-11th February 2021
With player welfare the priority, the protocols will allow a maximum of two concussion substitutes to be used per team, with the opposition side able to use the equivalent number. The additional concussion substitutions may be made regardless of the number of substitutions a team has made already.
Vokins joins Sunderland on loan
Southampton full-back Jake Vokins has completed a loan move to Sunderland for the remainder of the season, the club can announce.
The 20-year-old joins the League One promotion chasers ahead of the close of the transfer window, in a move that will aid his development by allowing him to gain further valuable experience of senior football.
A graduate of the Saints Academy, Vokins has already had a taste of first-team action at St Mary’s, making five appearances for Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side across the past two seasons, including two starts in the Premier League, the most recent of which came against Arsenal earlier this week.
Sims rejoins Doncaster
Southampton winger Josh Sims has re-joined Doncaster Rovers on loan for the remainder of the 2020/21 season.
Sims, 23, has today completed a move back to the Keepmoat Stadium, where he spent a short amount of time during the first half of this term.
Doncaster are vying for League One's promotion places and currently sit fourth in the table, with Sims having already made 14 appearances during the course of this season, scoring three goals.
Introducing Saints FC Women
Next in our series we get to know one of the latest products of Southampton FC Women's Regional Talent Club. Introducing Lucia Kendall, in association with Virgin Media.
A product of the club's Academy pathway, the attack-minded midfielder has four goals in five appearances during what has been a stop-start campaign.
In this video we gain an insight into the footballing background with the likes of Winchester Flyers and the Hampshire FA, alongside her family background in cricket with her Dad having played for Hampshire himself.
John Mortimore: An appreciation
It was with great sadness we learned of the passing of former Southampton President John Mortimore.
Throughout his long, dedicated association with the club, John also served as a coach, assistant manager and chief scout.
Saints historian David Bull remembered John with this tribute.
Virgin Media Super Saints of the Year
We gave you the chance to nominate deserving fans to be named our Super Saints of the Year, thanks to Virgin Media.
We received hundreds of incredible nominations and asked Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse to select his winner.
Watch the video below to find out who he chose to receive a special surprise, thanking them for their devotion to Southampton FC and giving the winner a chance to reconnect with their fellow fans when they eventually return to St Mary’s.
Saints join UNFCCC's Sports for Climate Action initiative
Southampton Football Club is proud to announce that it has joined the UNFCCC’s Sports for Climate Action initiative as a signatory to the Sports for Climate Action Framework.
The Sports for Climate Action initiative calls on sporting organisations to acknowledge the contribution of the sports sector to climate change and our responsibility to strive towards climate neutrality for a safer planet.
As part of its commitment to ensuring a sustainable future for our club, our fans and our community, Southampton this week launched its sustainability strategy, The Halo Effect, which outlines the club’s commitment to live up to our environmental, corporate, fan and social responsibilities.