Friday 19 January 2018

Mauricio Pellegrino says anxiety to be expected as Saints target rare home win

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino has welcomed the end of the Virgil van Dijk saga
Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino has welcomed the end of the Virgil van Dijk saga

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino believes it is only "normal" for his players to feel anxiety at not being able to produce winning performances at home.

The Saints faithful were again left frustrated last weekend when Newcastle headed back up to the north east with a 2-2 draw.

Midfielder Dusan Tadic admits the players can " become a bit nervous" when finding themselves on the back foot at St Mary's Stadium, where they have recorded just one Premier League win so far this season.

Pellegrino, though, accepts that is all part and parcel of the team wanting the best for supporters - with another chance to impress at home against West Brom in Saturday's late kick-off.

"It is a fact we are not getting really good results (at home), and not just from this season," said Pellegrino, who took charge at Southampton in the summer.

"Some players who have more time here than me can feel this anxiety, but it is something which is normal.

"At the top level, things can be up and down, but this is in every single game, and you have to survive, to challenge these kinds of moments."

Pellegrino added at a press conference, broadcast on the club's official website: " Dusan is experienced and I think when you explain this situation, it is because you want to challenge it.

"Sometimes anxieties can have a good relationship with excitement and when you have this, it is because you want to do things right.

"To have anxiety can be something positive, when you want to give your best performance - it would be worse when you don't feel anything."

Pellegrino feels it is up to the team to help lift the fans.

"The fans will always receive the messages from the teams on the pitch," the Argentinian coach said.

"We use football to be happy, every single weekend, but we cannot always be (happy), w e are fighting with other teams.

"In society today, we have to be stimulated all of the time, to be exciting, be happy - sometimes, though, the movie (you are watching) is just not good enough."

Pellegrino added: "We want to play well, we want to score goals, that is our job.

"We have to understand the people and give our best on the pitch to show the people that we want to win, then I think the crowd will be behind us."

Press Association

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