Talking Points - Jesús Pérez

By SFC Media Thu 23 Jan First team

Saints assistant manager Jesús Pérez spoke to the press on Thursday morning ahead of Saturday’s visit of Yeovil Town in The FA Cup Fourth Round.

Here are the key points from the briefing:

On this weekend’s game…

“It’s a good game for us to keep the normal way during the weeks. It gives the opportunity for some players to play on Saturday. Hopefully we’ll progress into the next round.

“We are doing the same process to scout the team as we do for the Premier League teams. We always take every single opponent seriously. We expect a difficult game. It doesn’t matter if the team are second from bottom in the Championship. They will play without pressure; they have nothing to lose. It will be a difficult game for us.”

On the possibility of younger players being involved…

“Yesterday and before yesterday as well, some of the younger ones have been training with us. We knew that the Under-21s had a game on Monday. Obviously, they involved three or four players from the younger squad. We have a decision tomorrow if some will play in the first XI or maybe stay on the bench.”

On FA Cup ambitions…

“This is our aim – to get to the next round. The FA Cup is, if not the most important competition, like the Premier League. There’s respect for the fans, the players and for the culture in England. You have to face these games just thinking to win and stay in the next round. It also provides you with the possibility to keep your normal programme in terms of training and games on the weekends.”

On Tuesday’s welcoming of Arsenal coming so soon after…

“Obviously, we were talking about that this morning. In a short period, we have two games so we have to decide the best squad for Saturday. Obviously, thinking we have a tough game on Tuesday against Arsenal, we still have two training sessions during this week to make a decision. We have to pick the team thinking about the game on Tuesday.”

On injuries to Dejan Lovren and Gastón Ramírez…

“They’re confirmed as serious injuries – both ankle [injuries]. They are probably ruled out for six to eight weeks. We are trying to accelerate the recovery and the medical staff are preparing different strategies to recover the players as soon as possible but for some weeks, both are out.

“We expected a minor injury for Dejan Lovren and more serious for Gastón, but in the end they have similar injuries. They have ligament damage but we hope to recover the players as soon as possible.

“Dejan has been great this season. Gastón has seemed to really be putting in some impressive performances recently. It must be disappointing.

“We are disappointed because he (Gastón) is doing well. He’s trained very hard in the last few weeks and he was in good form. The situation when he got an injury, he was strong in a one-on-one. He was very good and had a clear chance to score. It’s a shame for him and us because he is an important player.”

On Victor Wanyama…

“He’s been back in normal training. He needs more specific training to improve his level, especially in physical performance. We are very happy to see Victor back in the team and I think it’s good news.”

“We’ll see in the next days but it’s probably next week when Victor will be better. We have two games in a short period. We have to decide the squad thinking that there are a few days to recover. We’ll see and make a final decision.”

On transfers…

“I think that both injuries aren’t serious enough to replace the players. Obviously the transfer market is still open and you never know. At the end of the week some situations can change. At the moment, there is no idea to replace these two players.”

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