May 7, 2018 / 4:55 AM / 4 months ago

Hughes backs Southampton to fire at struggling Swansea

(Reuters) - Southampton can ease the disappointment of the late equaliser they conceded at Everton by inching towards Premier League survival with a win over fellow strugglers Swansea City on Tuesday, manager Mark Hughes has said.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Everton vs Southampton - Goodison Park, Liverpool, Britain - May 5, 2018 Southampton manager Mark Hughes before the match REUTERS/Andrew Yates

Relegation-threatened Southampton were denied victory in a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park on Saturday when Everton midfielder Tom Davies equalised with a deflected shot in the fifth minute of added time.

The draw took Southampton out of the drop zone for the first time since March and the Saints will be seeking to stay ahead of Swansea by picking up as many points as possible at the Liberty Stadium followed by the visit of champions Manchester City.

“We have a quick turnaround and we can go again. We were great last weekend, we were great again today (Saturday) and we’ll be great again on Tuesday I am sure,” Hughes said.

Hughes was appointed by Southampton in March and the 54-year-old was tasked with rescuing the club from the threat of the drop two months after he was fired by Stoke City, who were relegated at the weekend.

“It was difficult circumstances. What did I have, eight games? I think I came in and made an impact with a group which is really strong at the moment,” the manager added.

“The fixtures weren’t kind — we’ve had one home game, we have one to come against Manchester City, and the rest away games and it was never going to be easy but we have had a go and we are out of the bottom three.

“We just have to make sure we are after the next two games we have left.”

Southampton are 17th on 33 points from 36 games, the same as Swansea, who are one place below them on goal difference.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru

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