Hughes assesses options against United

By SFC Media Fri 30 Nov Saints v Man Utd
Photo by Matt Watson | Mark Hughes

Southampton manager Mark Hughes says the team's performance at Leicester in midweek has given him some good food for thought ahead of Manchester United's visit tomorrow.

Saints were the dominant side against the Foxes in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, and were controversially denied a late winning goal by VAR, only to suffer a cruel defeat on penalties.

However, with United heading to St Mary's this weekend, the performance offered a sense of encouragement, and Hughes's switch to a three-man defence at King Power Stadium is something he is not ruling out deploying again on Saturday.

"We looked at a different thing – different in terms of formation, going back to three at the back," said Hughes.

we need to go with what we feel will most affect man united adversely.

mark hughes
southampton manager

"That will have positives in games, and sometimes there's negatives in any formation you go with, but it was interesting to see how the guys got back to that system and they looked very, very comfortable with it.

"I think that's the benefit of the work we've done during the summer, so very quickly they understood the fundamentals of that.

"I just think it gives us another string to our bow. We've got to be versatile, we've got to be flexible in terms of how we go up against teams, because every team gives you different problems.

"It's just given me food for thought. I think we need to keep our options open and go with what we feel will most affect Man United adversely."

Hughes added: "United, obviously, with the resource they've got, have been able to acquire lots of very, very good players.

"Sometimes when collectively they're not quite gelling, which people have criticised them this year for, when they're not quite where they need to be, they've still got that element of individual talent that can win games on the back of their own ability, rather than the collective talent of the group, so you're always wary of that, because at any given moment someone can produce a moment of magic.

"But we were solid the other night – we were up against good quality players in the likes of Vardy, and we dealt with him, so it will be a similar level of player we face at the weekend and we've just got to do more of the same."

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