Hughes knows Saints’ fight far from finished

Mark Hughes was brought in to replace Mauricio Pellegrino as Southampton boss in March
AFP

London (AFP) – Southampton manager Mark Hughes has insisted there is no danger of complacency setting in as the club continue their battle against relegation from the Premier League away to Everton on Saturday.

Victory over south coast rivals Bournemouth last weekend left the Saints just one point shy of safety with three league games left to play this season.

“I don’t think we’ll fall into the trap of thinking that we got job done last weekend because we haven’t. Nowhere near it,” said Hughes.

“It was a moment in time where we felt that emotion. I think everyone in the stadium felt that emotion and there was an outpouring but I felt it wasn’t a bad thing,” said Hughes, brought in to keep the Saints in the top flight after Mauricio Pellegrino was sacked in March.

“It brought everyone closer, it brought our fans closer to the team and maybe that distance had started to increase over the course of the season.

“For all the emotion that we saw and the fact we were able to at long last please our supporters we have to do it again and we don’t want to disappoint our fans by losing at Everton.”

Meanwhile Hughes, a former Wales boss whose managerial CV includes stints at Manchester City, Blackburn and Stoke, was unhappy that relegation rivals Swansea have more recovery time ahead of their key clash with Southampton on Tuesday.

The Saints’ match at Goodison Park, Merseyside club Everton’s home ground, kicks off at 5:30pm local time (1630 GMT) while the Swans start their game at Bournemouth at 3:00pm (1400 GMT).

“They make the point on the last day of the season that everyone has to play at the same time so maybe they should do that in the last two weeks of the season. Maybe that would be slightly more fair,” said Hughes.

The former Manchester United striker added: “The Premier League is paid a huge amount by TV and at some point you have to pay the price and the pound of flesh is kick-off times and times when you’d rather play at 3pm on a Saturday.

“It’s what the Premier League is and we accept sometimes it might not be as fair as it could be but if you take the money you have to pay the price.”

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