Andy Crosby believes that the fluidity of movement showed by Saints today will be invaluable this season.
In the 2-0 win over Wolves at St Mary’s, the hosts interchanged cohesively with some neat free flowing football, and Crosby highlighted the progress made by the players on equipping themselves for life in the top-flight by adapting to different styles of play.
“We are very pleased with that performance,” Crosby told Saints Player.
“We scored two goals and kept a clean sheet so I think you can see the progression we are making with the new system.
“We have had success over the past couple of years playing with a very fluid 4-4-2 or 4-diamond-2 so we are looking at a different way to continue to win games of football.
“I think there has been real progression from the Anderlecht game to where we are now and the players are getting a better understanding of what we want.
“We are nowhere near the finished article, but we are developing and I think you can see that the players are enjoying playing in this new system.”
Saints scored in either half with goals from Billy Sharp and Jason Puncheon, which came from impressive build up by the hosts.
“I think however we play we always try and play the ball around well and the team has developed how the fans want to see us playing,” the Saints First Team Coach explained.
“There were some real good periods of the game for us and we are only going to get better.
“It was a good performance against a team who were in the Premier League last season who have still got Premier League players and who are going through a bit of a transition themselves.
“I think you have to play a formation that suits the players that you have got and fortunately this club has lots of good players who can fit into many different styles of play,” Crosby highlighted.
“Every player has his strengths and it is about putting those strengths into a position where they can influence the game. People will have seen a change in role for Adam Lallana, we know what he can do wide left but we are trying to find a different role for him if we do play this way.
“It is still very fluid. It’s not a rigid 4-1-4-1 or 4-3-3 or whatever you want to call it. It is about the players rather than the formation and the players are getting better all the time.”
Rickie Lambert and Morgan Schneiderlin were amongst the absentees from the squad through minor injuries, but both should be in contention sooner than later.
“Morgan got a kick last week in the game against Ajax which turned out to be a bad cut in a place where every time he strikes the ball it was a bit of an issue. He did a bit of light training with us yesterday and he will be fine and Rickie will train tomorrow with the lads who didn’t play today.”
Saints travel to Bristol City on Tuesday evening in the penultimate match of the pre-season preparations and Crosby hinted that there will be room for further experiments at Ashton Gate.
“Whoever plays will be part of a strong team,” he affirmed. “The players all got more game time today, we still have two games left before the start of the season and I’m sure there will still be some more changes on Tuesday night.
“It’s important now that we start getting things into players minds and get a settled team, but you can see out there that everyone is pushing and trying to claim for the shirt against Manchester City.”
Watch the full interview with Andy Crosby on Saints Player now