Southampton boss Rubén Sellés issued an important message about the upcoming weekend fixture with Crystal Palace during his pre-match press availability.
The Saints host Roy Hodgson and Co. at St. Mary’s in the Premier League on Saturday, 15th April. They will hope to take advantage of the home support and put an end to their five-game winless run.
Palace, meanwhile, have had a new lease of life since Hodgson replace Patrick Vieira as their manager, winning two games on the trot, including a 5-1 mauling of Leeds United. They will be determined to take their winning streak to three games with a victory over Southampton on Saturday.
Southampton, though, cannot be fazed by the Eagles’ form as they need to get points on the board to avoid relegation. Asked if the clash against Palace is a must-win game for his side, Sellés told a press conference:
"“It’s a cliché of course but every game is must win, we need to put everything tomorrow [Saturday; ed.] to get the three points…that will help us a lot in this situation and we’ll go for it”."
Southampton sit four points away from safety with five of the Saints’ remaining eight games coming against teams in the top half of the table. Taking maximum points against the other three is thus paramount in the Premier League relegation battle.
With the Hampshire outfit winless in their last five games, this clear message from the manager that they are going for wins in every game could be an important rallying cry for a team currently lacking confidence.
Southampton can still avoid relegation
There is still time to avoid relegation this season, and Sellés stressed his team’s fight and character over these final eight games throughout the press conference. Southampton have struggled in their clashes against fellow bottom teams, with recent high-profile losses to Leeds, Wolves, Nottingham Forest, and West Ham.
A victory against Crystal Palace, as well as in upcoming relegation six-pointers versus Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest, are key targets for the Saints as they fight to stay in the Premier League.
Sellés also indicated his team was ready to fight against the top teams, stating:
"“For us, it doesn’t matter who is the opponent; we need to show ourselves and we need to go for it”."
Southampton will take this attitude into matches against top teams Arsenal and Newcastle, as well as European hopefuls Brighton and Liverpool. Hoping for maximum points from these games may be unrealistic, but the Saints will try to match the attitude of their manager and take as much as possible from these difficult fixtures.
Elsewhere Sellés confirmed Southampton will be without key players Mohammed Salisu and Che Adams on Saturday after both picked up injuries while on international duty. Breakout youngster Tino Livramento is playing with the B team, a major sign of progress from last year’s devastating ACL injury.