Southampton defender Maya Yoshida has reminded his teammates that they are not safe from relegation, and urged them to make sure they are ready when they return from a three-week spell without a game at Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.
With Watford being involved in the FA Cup last weekend, and the international break currently ongoing, the Saints have had a good period of time to dust themselves down, assess where they are and make sure they gear themselves up for an important stage of the season.
Southampton went into their lengthy hiatus with a 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur to ease their relegation fears somewhat, but despite that they are not completely safe, a point Yoshida is more than aware of.
“We are still not safe, that’s for sure.” The Daily Echo quote him as saying.
“It’s going to be really crucial when we play Brighton, so we have to make sure we are ready for that game physically, mentally and tactically.
“We’ve played well in the last three games but, unfortunately, we couldn’t get any points from one of them.
“If we didn’t get a point against Tottenham, then it would have been a really long and difficult three-week break.
“It was crucial to get the three points because Cardiff, Newcastle and Brighton all won before the break.”
Southampton head to the Amex Stadium on Saturday two points and two spots above the relegation zone, but having picked up six points from their last three matches, they should be full of confidence when they head to Sussex.
They will be boosted going into that contest with Brighton by the fact that Yoshida has not been involved for his country. Often when he goes away to Japan he has to miss football for the Saints due to the amount of travelling involved, but he has been able to train with his teammates, and the St Mary’s Stadium outfit will hope to benefit as a result.