Monday, November 19

Premier League

TIMELINE

Southampton boss confident of change in form

Saints have failed to score in three successive league losses.

Boss Mark Hughes is optimistic of improved results for Southampton after just one win in the opening eight Premier League games.

Saints have failed to score in successive league losses to Wolves, Liverpool and Chelsea, conceding eight times, but Hughes insisted the forecast was promising, not bleak.

Speaking at a media conference ahead of Saturday’s match with south coast rivals Bournemouth, Hughes said: “I think you’re painting a picture that’s a little bit darker than it needs to be.

“We want more points on the board. We feel once we overcome a little bit of the anxiety we’ve got in our play at times, in key moments…

“In all those games we created chances. It’s not as if we’re not getting shots off. It’s just our conversion rate we need to increase.

“If we convert more of them we’ll score more goals and win more games.

“For the most part, as the season progresses we’ll get more than enough points on the board.

“We’ve got a number of fixtures coming up that we feel we can maximise our chances with. That’s what we’ll try to do.

“You’ve just got to execute on matchday. That’s clearly the one big element of our game we haven’t got right yet. We still feel we’re very close to that.”

Saints play Bournemouth, Newcastle, Manchester City, Watford and Fulham in their next five league fixtures.

Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy is in contention to feature at Bournemouth after withdrawing from the England squad ahead of the matches with Croatia and Spain with a hamstring problem.

Hughes added: “Alex McCarthy came back early from the England squad, only because he’d had a little bit of tightness for a couple of weeks in his hamstrings.

“He did one session with the goalkeepers with England. He was still a little bit uncomfortable. It made sense for him to come back.

“There was good communication between ourselves and England. It was the right decision for ourselves, for Alex and for England.”

Hughes reported no other fitness issues.


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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City1210203653132
2Liverpool129302351830
3Chelsea128402781928
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs1290320101027
5Arsenal1273226151124
6Bournemouth126242116520
7Watford126241714320
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd126242021-120
9Everton125431915419
10Leicester CityLeicester125251716117
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves124441213-116
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124261318-514
13West Ham UnitedWest Ham123361418-412
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle12237915-69
15Burnley122371225-139
16Crystal Palace12228817-98
17Southampton12156821-138
18Cardiff CityCardiff122281125-148
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield12147622-167
20Fulham121291131-205
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Hamburger SV138321712527
2FC Koln1373332181424
3Union BerlinUnion Berlin135801981123
4St Pauli137241918123
5VfL BochumVfL Bochum135532215720
6Heidenheim135532014620
7Jahn RegensburgJahn135532420420
8Greuther Furth135531818020
9SC PaderbornSC Paderborn134632624218
10Holstein Kiel134632221118
11Dynamo Dresden135351720-318
12SV Darmstadt 98135261718-117
13Erzgebirge Aue134271318-514
14Arminia Bielefeld133461621-513
15SV SandhausenSV Sandhausen132471320-710
16Duisburg132471220-810
17Magdeburg131661624-89
18FC Ingolstadt 04Ingolstadt131571327-148
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