Hughes pleased with players' reaction

By SFC Media Fri 09 Nov Saints v Watford
Photo by James Bridle | Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes has been pleased with the reaction of his players in training this week, following their heavy defeat at Manchester City, revealing that he has sensed a positive streak of anger and frustration in them ahead of Saturday's showdown with Watford.

Saints were beaten 6-1 at Etihad Stadium last Sunday by an imperious City team who continue to swat opponents aside.

While it was a painful day, Hughes has been buoyed since then by the reaction he has received from his squad, as they prepare to host Watford tomorrow.

"It's been very good, and I'm pleased with that," he said. "There's been good determination, and also a little bit of anger I think, and a little bit of frustration.

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"Obviously, on the day against Manchester City, we didn't allow ourselves an opportunity to stay in the game. Three quick-fire goals affected our ability to get anything out of the game, albeit we did on occasions cause them problems defensively, which not too many teams do.

"We could have gone there and gone maybe for a bit of a damage limitation exercise, but we talked about that before and the guys were up for really having a go and seeing where it took us.

"Unfortunately, we didn't give ourselves a platform, but we'll learn from that. There were things in the game that we needed to understand and recognise so that we can learn from it in games against lesser opposition, and that's what we've talked about and worked on this week."

Some of that work has taken place at St Mary's, with Hughes opting for a change of venue for training on Thursday, as preparations were stepped up.

"I've done that on numerous occasions in the past, and I think, albeit the facilities we have at Staplewood are first-class, sometimes going into the same environment and same place day in and day out, sometimes you've got to mix things up and change people's perspective, and that's what we felt," he said.

"The actual work itself wasn't different to any great extent, but just to change the scenery and lighten things up."

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