May 3, 2018 / 4:13 PM / 20 days ago

Soccer: Momentum key for Southampton's survival bid, says Hughes

(Reuters) - Relegation-threatened Southampton must maintain their positive momentum if they are to record back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season, manager Mark Hughes said ahead of Saturday’s trip to Everton.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Southampton v AFC Bournemouth - St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Britain - April 28, 2018 Southampton manager Mark Hughes REUTERS/David Klein/Files

Southampton, who are 18th in the table, ended an eight-game winless streak with a 2-1 home victory over Bournemouth last weekend and are within a point of safety with three games left in the campaign.

The Saints, who have won just two of their last 22 league matches, could move out of the relegation zone with a victory at Goodison Park.

“Momentum is great if you gain momentum at the right time. Clearly if you are going for trophies and you are playing well in key games then that will help you to be successful,” Hughes told a news conference on Thursday.

“The same is true for teams in our situation. If we can build momentum on the back of the Bournemouth result then that is going to help us...

“Back-to-back results is massive at any stage of the season because invariably it shoves you up the table... If we are able to manage it at the weekend then clearly that’s a huge boost for us.”

After the trip to Everton, Southampton travel to 17th-placed Swansea City in a potential relegation decider before ending their season at home to champions Manchester City but Hughes is not thinking that far ahead.

“The key from our point of view is totally on the next game,” Hughes added. “That is the only way you can approach it... we focused all our energies last week on the Bournemouth game.

“We got that one out of the way, now clearly all our focus is on getting a positive result against Everton, which won’t be easy. Their home form is very good.”

Hughes also praised Everton counterpart Sam Allardyce for leading the Merseyside club’s rise from 18th to eighth in the league table.

“The amount of points Sam has been able to earn as Everton manager is really high,” Hughes said. “He is doing a great job there - it will be difficult. Their home form invariably is strong. It is always the strongest part of their season.”

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below