Talk at Saints switches from goals to defence
From talk of attackers after their 8-0 thrashing of Sunderland last week, the chatter surrounding Southampton has now switched to defence after another clean sheet at St Mary`s.
London: From talk of attackers after their 8-0 thrashing of Sunderland last week, the chatter surrounding Southampton has now switched to defence after another clean sheet at St Mary`s.
With a 1-0 win over Stoke at the weekend, Southampton boast the meanest defence in all four English divisions – a remarkable feat given the quality of strikers in the Premier League.
The south coast side have conceded just five goals so far this season, and you would need to drop to the fourth tier of English football to find the next best record: sixth-placed Plymouth`s defence have conceded eight.
Belgian international Toby Alderweireld had the unenviable task of defending against Peter Crouch on Saturday, but handled the big man with ease before speaking of his great communication with Jose Fonte and the key to Southampton`s defence.
"I think we defended very smartly against him. If you attack the ball, you’re going to lose against him because he`s too big," said the man signed on load from Atletico Madrid.
"We talk a lot. Jose is experienced. I have experience and that helps us. It is not just two, it is the defence, it is the midfield, it is the attackers... we defend very good as a team."
England goalkeeper Fraser Forster was delighted with another shutout, his fifth of the season in the league.
"Another clean sheet that keeps the run going at home, it has been brilliant," he said.
"It was a completely different type of win. It feels better as we had to work so hard for it, it was a real grind at times, but to see the game out, another clean sheet and another win is brilliant for us."
Southampton sit second in the league with 19 points from their nine games -- four behind leaders Chelsea, who have conceded nine times.