Southampton head coach Russell Martin gave a defiant press conference ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Middlesbrough following three consecutive defeats in the Championship.
The Saints started life with Martin in flying form, winning three and drawing once in their opening four fixtures. However, a 5-0 trouncing suffered away at Sunderland prior to the international break spelt the start of a horrendous run of results.
Southampton followed up the loss at the Stadium of Light with a heavy 4-1 defeat at home to promotion-rivals Leicester City and subsequently a 1-0 loss at the St. Mary’s Stadium at the hands of newly-promoted Ipswich Town.
Despite a promising start to his tenure, pressure is now piling on Martin and tomorrow’s clash at the Riverside Stadium is a must-win for the club on the South Coast.
Nonetheless, the 37-year-old sounded defiant in his pre-match press conference, confident that this poor form can be knocked on its head [quotes via the Southern Daily Echo]:
“I’m not passing excuse because we need to work to find a way through it but there’s been a lack of cohesion at this club.
“There’s been a lack of togetherness with the supporters, a lack of connection here at the training ground – and our job is to bring it back,” he continued.
“People will see a team that is functioning well and when we find that rhythm, people will start to trust the work we’re doing and the players trust it because they can feel it.”
The former MK Dons and Swansea City boss also revealed two qualities that Southampton can learn from Kieran McKenna’s Ipswich.
“We need to build energy and momentum. Ipswich have that and it’s carrying them through to a really good place, we don’t have that but we will find it.”
Positive momentum is one of the most important qualities that any successful football team needs. Momentum can sometimes even trump quality. Leicester City’s 2016 Premier League-winning side can testify to this.
At the moment, Ipswich Town have momentum on their side and are cruising while the opposite can be said for their opponents on Tuesday. Martin will be doing everything in his power to swing the momentum back in Southampton’s favour as soon as possible.