Monday 23 October 2017

Puel urging Saints to stay calm in face of Inter storm

Southampton manager Claude Puel Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire
Southampton manager Claude Puel Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Jamie Holland

Southampton manager Claude Puel has instructed his players to stay calm as they aim to take advantage of the turmoil surrounding Inter Milan at San Siro tonight.

The pressure Inter are under pressure after a poor start to the season has been compounded by a row between captain Mauro Icardi and the club's fans.

Inter are 11th in Serie A despite having invested heavily during the summer.

Angered by comments made by Icardi in his recent autobiography, the club's Ultras produced banners that claimed he was a mercenary and even cheered when he missed a penalty in their recent 2-1 defeat by Cagliari.

Rumours also persist that manager Frank de Boer - who was only appointed during the summer and has overseen two defeats from two in the Europa League - is at risk of the sack.

However, Puel said: "It's important to stay calm. Perhaps it's a big occasion for Inter to react as they need points but for us it's the same thing.

"They have good players and a good team to have a good reaction, and we approach this game with calm.

"It's important to stay with good concentration."

Puel is expected to again rotate his team despite their convincing performance in Sunday's 3-1 victory over Burnley.

The in-form Nathan Redmond has not travelled to Milan, while full-backs Cedric Soares, Jeremy Pied, Ryan Bertrand and Matt Targett are also all injured.

In their absence, Sam McQueen is expected to make his first start for the club, having only made his first Premier League appearance as a substitute on Sunday.

Irish Independent

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