June 7, 2018 / 4:48 AM / 18 days ago

Soccer: Southampton will learn from relegation battle, says Hughes

(Reuters) - Southampton have learned a valuable lesson from their battle to avoid relegation last season and the players will be ready to hit the ground running when the new Premier League campaign kicks off in August, manager Mark Hughes has said.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Southampton vs Manchester City - St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Britain - May 13, 2018 Southampton manager Mark Hughes waves to fans during a lap of appreciation after the match Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley/Files

Hughes replaced Mauricio Pellegrino in March on a short-team deal and helped them narrowly avoid relegation by securing a 17th-placed finish, prompting the club to reward the Welsh boss with a three-year deal.

“They will all benefit from what we all went through last year. I think we will learn from that and be better again this year,” Hughes told Southampton’s website.

“We are really looking forward to the new season now and it is about building straight from the off, making sure we are ready to go, hit the ground running, all the old cliches - but they all apply.”

Southampton will play Germany’s Schalke 04 and Chinese side Jiangsu Suning in the Club Super Cup tournament in July as part of their pre-season preparations.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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