The axe of relegation is hovering over Southampton as they are placed at the 17th spot in the league table with 28 points to their name after 30 league outings. After Mauricio Pellegrino got sacked by the Saints earlier this week, Mark Hughes has been appointed as the new manager of the club to save them from facing dire consequences.
With some really tough fixtures ahead, here are three things Hughes needs to do save Southampton from getting relegated.
Shake Things Up In The Frontline
One of the major headaches for Southampton this season has been the timorous form of their attackers up front. They have scored just 29 goals from 30 league outings and in order to ply their trade in the English top-flight next season, they certainly need to showcase sheer attacking prowess on a consistent basis from here onwards.
Intriguingly, Southampton have produced an immense amount of crosses this season in the league. If Hughes decides to continue with this tactic, he should chalk two strikers up front to make the most of the deliveries. In fact, it would make a lot of sense if Guido Carrilo is teed up with Manolo Gabbiadini to reap rewards for their side.
Cultivate Motivation And Belief
There is no denying that Southampton’s players have really worked hard this season. They have been making shrewd tackles, creating chances and running around the pitch but they are lacking motivation, drive and belief. However, someone like Hughes should be able to meet such intangible needs.
The former Stoke City boss has truckloads of experience under his belt and interestingly, he has never finished in the bottom three as a manager. Hughes is a former Saints player and knows the club’s weaknesses and strengths and considering that he has done the rescue act plenty of times before, he might be able to do that again by restoring confidence back into the dressing room.
Get The Best Out Of His Star Players
Hughes’ side have tough games lined up and it would take herculean efforts from them to refrain themselves from getting doomed at the end of the season. They are due to face big clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester City and Everton before their final league game of the season against Manchester City.
Southampton do have some notable players in their ranks like Carrillo, Dusan Tadic, Wesley Hoedt and James Ward-Prowse and Hughes needs to ensure that he derives the best out of the experienced and quality players. This would inspire the others to work to the best of their abilities. Besides, they should aim to bag as many points as possible against Bournemouth, West Ham United and Swansea City to keep them safe and sound at the end of the season.
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