March 9, 2018 / 10:20 AM / 3 months ago

Pellegrino reminds Southampton of 'massive' games ahead

(Reuters) - Southampton’s improvement over the last two months will mean nothing if they fail to secure Premier League safety in their nine remaining games, manager Mauricio Pellegrino has said.

FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - Premier League - Southampton vs Stoke City - St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Britain - March 3, 2018 Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino before the match Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

Southampton have won just five league matches this season and sit in 17th position, one point above the bottom three.

“Thinking about the next nine games, every single game will be massive,” Pellegrino told reporters on Thursday. “Because we have to try and do our job as soon as possible, and I think we are ready to compete.

“It is difficult now to say... ‘OK, we are getting better’ because, since January, obviously I think the team lift performance, but now we need to get results - it is reality.

“We have to be focused on what we have to do on the pitch. How we attack, how we defend, how balanced is our mentality in good moments and difficult moments.”

Pellegrino’s side have managed just two wins in 13 league matches on the road and will be hoping to improve that record when they travel to fellow strugglers Newcastle United, who are a point and a place ahead in 16th position, on Saturday.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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