Hughes calls for calm heads as Southampton face crucial game
The Saints take on Swansea seeking a win to aid their battle against relegation.
Southampton manager Mark Hughes has called for calm heads as they head into a match which will potentially decide their Premier League future.
A win against fellow strugglers Swansea on Tuesday would leave Saints three points clear of their opponents in 18th with one match to play but with a vastly superior goal difference.
With all-conquering Premier League champions Manchester City to visit St Mary’s on the final day of the season the trip to south Wales is likely to be decisive in extending their six-year stay in the top flight.
Having conceded an equaliser to Everton in the sixth minute of added time on Saturday after failing to adequately handle the late pressure they were under Hughes has urged his players to find a bit more composure.
“I think it is just calmness. You have got to deal with pressure, you have got to think clearly,” he said.
“Obviously, when things are flying around, you have try to do the right things and you have to take your chances when you create them.
“For the most part, we did that (at Everton). We proved to ourselves that we have that capability, we just have to do it.
“We just mustn’t allow ourselves to be deflated by what’s ahead of us and what’s just occurred.
“We played well. We are not down, in terms of confidence and in terms how we are playing, we were damaged because we got so close to getting a significant result and a significant victory which clearly would have helped our situation.
“But it is still very much in our hands and very quickly we will get this out of our system and go again.
“We are playing well so we shouldn’t have any apprehension about what is ahead of us.”
Hughes admits no one is giving them a chance of taking anything from their final fixture of the season at home to City.
But while he insists they have not given up on that game he accepts taking care of business tomorrow is far more important.
“Everybody is writing off the Man City game in terms of what we can take out of that game: we are not and we won’t allow that,” he added.
“We will try our utmost to get something out of that game as well but clearly when you are in this situation you want to be able to damage the teams around you and clearly Swansea are very much the team we have to damage.”
Midfielder Mario Lemina is a doubt having been taken off at half-time as a precaution after complaining of a tight hamstring while Maya Yoshida is suspended for his red card at Goodison Park.