In the latest Southampton news, Ryan Bertrand has admitted that going back to basics could be the key to his side’s survival hopes.
After winning only once since the end of November, the Saints currently sit 18th in the Premier League and their situation last week prompted the board to sack Mauricio Pellegrino after only arriving in the summer.
Mark Hughes was installed as the Argentine’s replacement and made a winning start, overseeing a 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final win over Wigan.
The victory will inject some much-needed confidence into the side heading into the international break and was achieved using a more simplistic approach.
Pellegrino was often accused of being overcautious in his tactics, with his defensive style preventing his players from producing their best football, especially in the final third.
It was noticeable that Hughes went back to basics on Sunday, using a 4-4-2 formation and the Saints played with both greater freedom and clarity.
Bertrand is one of those who has gone away with his national team but despite his England commitments, he is sure to have one eye on domestic matters.
Hughes’ maiden Premier League game in charge comes away at West Ham on March 31 and he will be hatching a plan to exploit the Hammers’ much-documented issues.
Speaking after the win over Wigan, the 28-year-old left-back explained the coach’s approach and says the Southampton squad is fully behind the way the Welshman has set about his task.
“We’ve just been working on the basics,” Bertrand said. “Refining the basics and upping our levels, our intensity and our attitude towards the game.
“It’s not really been an issue but where do you start? You come into a new team and it’s common sense to start there.
“I’m looking forward to playing the remainder of the season with him. He’s been there and done it.”