Puel: We had to freshen things up

By SFC Media Sun 18 Sep Saints vs Swansea

Claude Puel felt it was important to freshen up his team for the visit of Swansea, as he made six changes for the victory at St Mary’s.

Saints followed up their Europa League win over Sparta Praha on Thursday with another triumph at St Mary’s, as substitute Charlie Austin’s second-half goal earned them all three points.

The margin of victory should have been greater, though, with the hosts creating a significant number of good opportunities, and Puel was satisfied as he reflected on his decision to rotate his side.

“All the games are difficult,” he told Southampton’s official YouTube channel.

“Different players played on Thursday. It was another team for this game and it's important to keep energy to avoid finishing the game with tiredness.

“For example, to start this game with the same players as Thursday it is not possible. It's important to keep a good attitude when some players can start the game or stay as substitute, or perhaps be off for a day.”

Puel felt his match-winner, Austin, was a prime example, as he started from the bench following his two-goal display against Sparta.

"Charlie cannot start another game after just two days off, it is not possible,” he said. 

“But if he can be introduced [from the bench] the second time, for example, he can make the difference.

“If he started at the beginning it would be very difficult to score. It's important to keep good energy for every player, and to turn the team and to try to have all the time good results.”