Southampton manager Mark Hughes has said he feels the first-team squad need the ‘real stuff’ now in terms of truly competitive matches and the demands and expectation levels that come with Premier League matches.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) August 5, 2018
Having lost 3-0 in our final pre-season friendly of the summer last weekend to Borussia Monchengladbach, Hughes believes the squad will be ready when we open the campaign against Burnley next Sunday.
Speaking to saintsfc he explained.
“I think everybody understands that pre-season is difficult for players, in terms of getting them all to a level where they’re at full capacity. Some guys need a lot of games, other guys not so many and others lose form when they have a mid-season break or a pre-season break, and it takes them time to get it back.”
Hughes went on to admit that ‘a lot of players’ weren’t quite at the level they were expected to be at, and as a consequence of that, performances were ‘fragmented’.
“We need to get up to speed. We’ve only got a week to go and there’s lots to work on, but I think everybody understands this time next week we’ll be ready to go. The mentality you need to go into key Premier League games will be there. We’ve probably had enough of friendlies and we need to get into the real stuff.”
Reacting to his words on social media, some fans didn’t take too kindly to his choice of words but that feels a little bit harsh to me. Nothing he says is earth-shattering obviously, but pre-season is always a mixed bag of things when it comes to a players form.
Next weekend is all that matters and how they perform then.
You know what would be a big boost? A new striker
— Rob (@ClementsR18) August 5, 2018
@Mattytillman24 in before we lose 2 0 to Burnley next week ????
— Dave Wilson (@Vanhalen20081) August 5, 2018
Not already making excuses before kick off, not exactly inspiring confidence for us fans is it.
— Tony prince (@TonyTonyprince) August 5, 2018
Excuses before the season starts. uh oh.
— K (@nicetrainers) August 5, 2018
Bloody well hope so ????
— ???? Phil ⚽ (@JamboDuke81) August 5, 2018