The Press Box: Joe Prince-Wright

By SFC Media Thu 23 Mar International

With a busy schedule awaiting Southampton after the international break, we got the thoughts of NBC's Lead Soccer Writer and Editor Joe Prince-Wright.

What have you made of the recent form?

I think the Tottenham game summed it up quite well. The injuries have had an impact and some of the decisions just haven’t quite gone Saints’ way, especially when you look at the cup final.

The tempo seems to have increased though in recent weeks and they seem to be taking the game to teams a little bit more, which might come from having a bit more rest.

In the first half of the season games were coming thick and fast, with the Europa League and cup competitions. Now we’re probably starting to see the real Southampton if you like with the coaches having time to work on the training ground - it’s been promising.

No matter what happens this season, whether they finish mid-table or push up to 8th potentially, I think there is a lot of promise for next season.

Even though some of the results haven’t been what the team would have wanted in recent weeks, I still think there is a lot of promise, especially when you consider some of the players who have been missing through injury.

How much has the switch to a 4-2-3-1 formation changed the team?

I think it’s helped as a lot of the players from previous seasons are really comfortable in the system and it allows them to take the game to teams.

I really like Dušan Tadić in the central attacking role and you’ve seen from his stats where he’s scored against Watford and he’s picking up a lot of assists. His partnership with Manolo Gabbiadini was looking good and I feel having him in that role gets the best out of him and the other attacking players.

You’ve seen from a lot of the international call-ups that there are a number of players in really good form and it seems to get the best of the team.

I think there is a lot of promise for next season.

Joe Prince-Wright

Which players have caught your eye during the recent games?

Maya Yoshida has had to step up in the absence of Virgil van Dijk and he really has done that with some good defensive displays.

Oriol Romeu has been phenomenal all season long but especially in recent weeks and the two full-backs Ryan Bertrand and Cédric have been really good too. We saw in the EFL Cup final how they offered a different dimension and they ripped them to shreds at times.

Nathan Redmond has also kicked on to another level and has got himself into some really good positions. He’s still a young player and has a lot experience under his belt.

What are you hopes for the remainder of the season?

8th place is still not out of reach and it’s just nice to have a number of home games coming up.

They’ve got some big teams coming up at home but so catching West Brom isn’t out of the reckoning, but another top 10 finish would be great after all the games and injuries.

If you’d have asked Saints fans ahead of the start of the season you’d get a top 10 finish a reach a major cup final then more would have snapped your hand off.


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