Hughes: We owe fans a huge debt

By SFC Media Sun 13 May Saints v Man City
Photo by Chris Moorhouse

Southampton boss Mark Hughes is looking forward to finishing off the campaign in front of a full house at St Mary's, saying he and the players owe the fans a huge debt of gratitude.

Saints are within touching distance of survival, thanks to a run of eight points from their last four games, culminating in Tuesday night's emotional 1-0 victory at Swansea City.

Premier League status will be ensured as long as they avoid losing to Manchester City, Swansea beating Stoke and a ten-goal swing happening between the sides.

they made themselves known and got us over the line at Swansea, so we need more of that at the weekend.

mark hughes
southampton manager

While Hughes is clear that the job is not yet done, he is pleased to be able to finish the season off in front of a sold-out St Mary's.

"It will be great to do that, because we owe them a huge debt of gratitude," he said. "You can't do this without the backing of your own fans.

"By all accounts, there was a little bit of a disconnect between the fans, the team and the club maybe, and we needed to try to repair that.

"The only way we could do that was by playing better and giving them something to cheer about and get behind, and I think we've done that in recent weeks, and that all came to a head obviously on Tuesday.

"We had fantastic support from everyone who followed us there, and it was vitally important for us that we had such a presence there. They made themselves known, and that got us over the line, so we need more of it at the weekend."

While the simplistic thing is to say Saints just need to avoid a heavy defeat today, Hughes's sights are set much higher, although he is aware of the challenge of stopping his former club, who already have the Premier League title sewn up.

"They're very creative at the top end of the pitch, they've got a lot of movement and guys who can pick a pass, so if you can get in the right positions just block things out, and obviously still have that threat going the other way, because clearly they play a wide, expansive game, because they have the confidence to do that," he said.

"But if you do win possession in good areas and break quickly then you can cause them a problem, so we'll try to do that."

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