12 Jan Pellegrino says Southampton are ready to fight for survival
Mauricio Pellegrino insists his Southampton squad are ready to roll up their sleeves and fight their way clear of relegation.
An alarming run of nine matches without a win has seen Saints tumble to 17th, outside the drop zone on goal difference alone.
But Pellegrino also knows just a couple of wins – starting at Watford on Saturday – will leave them in a far healthier position.
“Are the players aware? Yes for sure, everybody knows and everybody is conscious now that we are in a difficult situation,” said the Saints boss.
“But in one week with two games everything can change.
“In the Premier League last season from eighth to 17th the gap was six points. Now between 17th and number 10 it is more or less the same.
“Maybe in two or three weeks’ time we can talk about other feelings.
“Obviously we are conscious of this situation but I have got a good feeling because I have got good players.
“My players are conscious we are in a position we have to change, on and off the pitch.”
Saints could find themselves in the bottom three for the first time this season if Watford repeat their victory at St Mary’s in September.
But Pellegrino saw signs of recovery when his side beat Championship Fulham 1-0 in the FA Cup last weekend to recapture that winning feeling.
“I have a good feeling that we are working really well,” he added.
“We are better prepared than before and we want to move one step forward from Fulham and it’s a nice opportunity for us.
“The bottom three? It’s important to try to get a good result away, and after that think about the performance and what we have to do on the pitch.
“That for me is the most important now.”
Pellegrino could welcome back fit-again defenders Wesley Hoedt, Cedric Soares and Jeremy Pied at Vicarage Road.