Southampton fans’ anticipation has risen the last 24 hours as manager Mark Hughes goes into his first pre-season friendly at the club following his permanent appointment as our gaffer over the summer.
Later this afternoon our preparations for the coming Premier League campaign steps up a gear as our training camp out in China sees us face the first 90-minute match in our preparations with a game scheduled against FC Schalke.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) July 4, 2018
Last season’s Bundesliga’s runners-up will pose a tough test even though both squads are at an early stage of fitness, and Hughes has revealed that fitness is his only concern going into the match at the Kunshan Sports Centre Stadium and he expects to give 45 minutes each to most of the group.
Speaking to saintsfc as he met with club media to preview the game, the Welshman explained.
“It’s a good test and one we’re looking forward to. It’s a little bit early in preparation, in terms of the time we’ve been able to have on the training ground, but it’s the same for both teams. It’s been a good trip up to this point. It’s clearly more a fitness issue at the moment, in terms of making sure we get up to speed as quickly as we can.”
The game is a 1pm BST kick-off.
Whilst the game does come this early in our schedule, Hughes was hopeful that he’d see some of the elements and messages that he got over to the squad come through with a greater success as pre-season continues because they already know what to expect from him now.
Fingers crossed we get a positive result even if the game isn’t about the result.