Van Dijk says goal difference must improve

By SFC Media Thu 15 Dec Bournemouth vs Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Van Dijk in action for Saints

Virgil van Dijk highlighted that Southampton’s negative goal difference tally is “not good enough” for a team with Saints’ aspirations.

Despite keeping a seventh Premier League clean sheet of the season in Wednesday’s goalless draw at Stoke, Claude Puel’s men drew another blank in front of goal.

It leaves Saints ninth in the table with a goal difference figure of minus one as they prepare for the short trip to Bournemouth on Sunday, where Van Dijk is targeting further improvement.

“We have 12 clean sheets in the whole season but still have a negative goal difference so that’s not good enough,” he told reporters.

“Like I said, we need to improve but also it’s not only the frontmen who need to score, it’s everyone and we will see what happens in the winter.”

Saints created chances throughout the game at bet365 Stadium, but failed to convert their opportunities. Van Dijk, who spent much of the game in Stoke’s half on Wednesday, says it’s down to the players to change those fortunes and not to focus on the formation.

“We play with wingers now, we change it up sometimes, we have the players to do well,” he explained.

“I don’t think it is the system. I think it is just that bit of quality, that bit of luck but I think we need to analyse and get ready for it.”

we need to improve but also it's not only the frontmen who need to score.

virgil van dijk
southampton defender

Van Dijk admitted that the draw at Stoke was tough to take but made harder by the first half red card for Marko Arnautović, which changed the way that the hosts approached the game.

“We knew it beforehand that they were going to defend for their lives but yeah, we had a couple of opportunities and we need to do much better in that case,” he said.

“I feel bad for the fans who came here and for us, we are as much disappointed as they are. Now we need to analyse what we need to do much better and learn from it to break down teams.

“Obviously it is going to be a lot more difficult when they play with ten but we need to look at our performance. That wasn’t good enough so, we need to learn from it, take it with us and as a club, we want to grow and so we need to win these games and Sunday is going to be a big one against Bournemouth.”


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