Earlier this afternoon manager Mark Hughes took charge of his first pre-season friendly since arriving at Southampton as Mauricio Pellegrino’s replacement at the tail end of the 2017/18 campaign.
With the clubs’ build-up and preparations in full flow ahead of the new 2018/19 season as we look for improvement on the pitch once again and avoid all risks of another relegation scrap, our fitness work took another step forward out in China as we faced Bundesliga side Schalke at the Kunshan Stadium.
The 90-minutes ended with three goals apiece and Nathan Redmond, Harrison Reed and Jake Hesketh got themselves on the scoresheet in our opening match.
Hughes had already spoken about getting 45 minutes into as many players as possible to bring them on that touch further and he made a full eleven changes at the halftime break as we fielded two sides in each half.
Our summer arrival from Celtic, Stuart Armstrong got his club debut under his belt in the first period of the game and Southampton fans would’ve been pleased with the mix of seniors and our next generation taking prominence in his selection.
The draw, and scoring three times after last season’s struggles in front of the net, would’ve been great for confidence, but as ever it’s about the fitness at this stage. We face Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning at the Xuzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium on Wednesday, July 11th for our second and final friendly out at the Club Super Cup tournament. Kick off for that tie is 12.30pm BST.
Southampton 3-3 FC Schalke 04 – Kunshan Sports Centre Stadium
China – Club Super Cup – Pre-Season – 05/07/2018 – 1.05pm
McCarthy (Forster 45), Stephens (Romeu 45), Hoedt (Reed 45), Bertrand (Valery 45), Targett (McQueen 45), Armstrong (Gallagher 45), Lemina (Ward-Prowse 45), Hojbjerg (Clasie 45), Redmond (Sims 45), Long (Hesketh 45/Slattery 90), Austin (Gabbiadini 45).
Goals – Redmond (45), Reed (48), Hesketh (68).
Yellows – Austin.
Fahrmann, McKennie, Uth, Bentaleb (Skrzybski 45), Konoplyanka (Serdar 45), Rahman, Kehrer, Teuchert, Kubler, Wiemann, Gollar.
Bianco, Di Santo, Krueger, Gels, Riether, Stambouli, Gozalez, Kutucu.
Goals – Konoplyanka (21), Serdar (54), Skrzybski (83).