Matchday Q&A: Erik ten Hag previews Southampton game | 12 March 2023

We saw Anthony Martial back on the football pitch in training in midweek so how is he progressing?

“Yes, he’s progressing but we have to be patient. We will see how quick he can go but we have to plan it. We are really strict. We have to be really careful. We want him back as quick as possible but it’s also clear we want to do it in the right way.”

Southampton have a new man in charge – remarkably Ruben Selles is still in his 30s – a very young manager. Having won at Chelsea in his first game, will they be typical of the sort of challenge you face against sides battling against relegation?

“There are no easy games. We have seen. We have to bring the performance, we have to play to our levels, so it’s all about us. When we play a good opponent, and there are no easy games, when you don’t bring the level, you get punished. Either you lose or you lose strong. We have to avoid that. We have to be ready so we have to recover now and go for part two of our rehabilitation.”

James Ward-Prowse’s free-kicks are exceptional and he is approaching our own David Beckham’s record. Is that something we can guard against, conceding free-kicks in dangerous areas?

“Yeah, he is always an issue when you play against Southampton and you play Ward-Prowse. Don’t give the easy free-kicks because he has the capabilities to net. So don’t bring them in that position because he can. We also have a good goalie to deal with such situations but you don’t want to take that risk.”

Obviously, this is our last Premier League fixture until April, the penultimate month of the season. Does that say everything in terms of how important it is to get three points on board in this game, given the lack of Premier League action until next month?

“Definitely. That is the pressure. We have to deal with it so we have more motivations. Already, I have said it has to be the second part of our rehabilitation. Yeah, it’s the last Premier League fixture before we go to the international break. So we need the three points and that’s quite clear. But we have to play our best because we play good opponents. Also, the matter that in the bottom of the Premier League, it’s also really close. They will fight for every yard on the pitch. So we have to be ready to face them and to challenge them.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *