Jos looks to Austria

By SFC Media Mon 22 Jul Club

Jos Hooiveld is already looking forward to testing himself against Bundesliga side FC Schalke 04 when they come head-to-head with Saints on Wednesday.

The big defender played the second half of Saturday's 8-0 win over Palamós having missed last week's trip to UE Llagostera with a calf problem.

And, with the First Team due to head over to Austria tomorrow, Hooiveld is expecting to see things step up imminently.

"These are the games that make us better," the Dutchman told Saints Player as he previewed this week's matches against Schalke and Turkish side Beşiktaş.

"Schalke had a good season last year, so let's see how we cope with that. We have to be on our top game because it's not going to be the same as on Saturday.

"It (the Palamós result) was nice, but it's more about getting things going again and getting into certain rhythms.

"That's what these games are for – it's not really the result that counts, but keeping everything going to prepare your head for the bigger task coming."

Hooiveld has been helping new boy Victor Wanyama settle into the squad, with the duo having been at Glasgow Celtic together prior to Jos's move to Saints two years ago.

And the 30-year-old feels team spirt is building well ahead of the coming campaign: "You can see that everybody has a good feeling and is positive about the new season to come," he said.

"It helps a bit that I knew Victor at Celtic for a few months. He's a nice lad, the same as Dejan [Lovren].

"I do it (help out) with everybody – I try to sort them a phone and a car, that sort of stuff. I did it with Maya [Yoshida], Chung (Tadanari Lee), [Vegard] Forren. That's a little bit of the kind of person I am. 

"I just want to make everybody feel comfortable. In the end the team has to do it together so, when people come in, you can't leave them to themselves."

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