Puel: It was important to give players time

By SFC Media Sun 14 May Boro vs Saints
Photo by Matt Watson

Southampton boss Claude Puel has underlined the importance of the seven changes he made for the trip to Middlesbrough.

Saints picked up all three points in their final away game of the season thanks to strikes from Jay Rodriguez and Nathan Redmond.

And Puel felt the trip to the Riverside provided the perfect opportunity to make wholesale changes to his matchday squad.

“We made seven changes because I think it was important to give game time to some players,” he started.

“Also, to recover and give some rest to our other players so that we can have good energy for the last games.

“For me it is a good way for us to play these last three games with all the energy and capacity to win them.”

Martín Cáceres was given the nod to make his Southampton debut against Middlesbrough, as he partnered Maya Yoshida in the heart of defence.

And Puel explained that, since the Uruguayan’s arrival, he has been pleased with his attitude and contribution.

“It was important to give players game time before the end of the season,” he continued.

“To see, for example, Martín Cáceres because he is a strong professional and shows a great spirit and quality in training.

“So I think it was normal to give him opportunities, as with Clasie, Højbjerg, Rodriguez, Long, and Jérémy Pied.”

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