May 10, 2018 / 11:31 AM / 10 days ago

Soccer: Hughes' positive approach key to Saints survival bid - Romeu

(Reuters) - Southampton midfielder Oriol Romeu has hailed manager Mark Hughes’s positive impact on the dressing room after the Welshman led the team to near certain safety in the Premier League.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Swansea City v Southampton - Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Britain - May 8, 2018. Southampton manager Mark Hughes celebrates after the match. Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

Hughes was handed the task of rescuing Southampton from the threat of relegation when he arrived in March but Romeu said the manager first made sure he repaired a fractured dressing room.

“He came in and the dressing room wasn’t in a good situation,” Romeu told British media. “It was difficult to cheer everyone up but I think he did it.

“It’s been amazing to see how he’s stepped in on the first day to try and change things around, trying to be positive and trying to make us better.

“Now he’s done what he had to do and he deserves credit and the players hope he stays and we can work with him again.”

Southampton’s 1-0 win at Swansea City on Tuesday lifted them three points clear of the drop zone heading into the final weekend of the season.

With goal difference handing Southampton a comfortable cushion heading into their last match at home to champions Manchester City on Sunday, it would take a remarkable turnaround for them to fall out of the top flight.

Romeu, however, wants his team to remain focused against City.

“Mathematically we’re not safe and that’s a fact and we still have another game,” the 26-year-old Spaniard said.

“We must compete in that one and there’s so many goals that they need to score. Odds will be in our favour but it’s Manchester City and they have good offensive players.”

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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