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Full Time

Southampton's Redmond back in his groove at the perfect time, insists Hughes

 

By Jonathan Veal

Nathan Redmond could be returning to his "natural" best at just the right time, according to Southampton boss Mark Hughes.

Redmond came off the bench to head Saints into a 1-0 lead at Everton on Saturday, only for the visitors to leak a late goal to leave Goodison Park with a frustrating draw.

Hughes' men now face Swansea at the Liberty Stadium tonight in a Premier League survival shoot-out, with either side able to take a giant step towards safety with victory.

Boss Hughes believes Redmond has been suffering a crisis of confidence amid Saints' struggles, but now hopes the 24-year-old can hit back to form at the perfect moment.

"I haven't been at the club that long and I think it was just Nathan, he is basically an outstanding player, he lost a little bit of confidence maybe and that was evident in his play," Hughes said.

"Sometimes he was being too sure, rather than being the natural player he is, but I thought he was excellent when he came on, clearly understood what was required of him and when we made the change, that shows he is engaged and focused on what is happening on the pitch.

"I obviously had to make the decision not to start him, so he was disappointed with that, but it didn't affect his focus on the game itself because that was why he was able to make the impact he did."

Saints must do without Maya Yoshida as he is suspended, while Northern Ireland's Steven Davis continues to battle Achilles trouble.

Belfast Telegraph

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