Puel holds talks with Tadic over 'respect' remarks

30 March 2017 02:53

Southampton manager Claude Puel has spoken to Dusan Tadic to discuss the midfielder's comments accusing him of a lack of "respect".

The Serbia international recently voiced his frustration over the fact he has finished only four of the 20 games he has started under the Frenchman, saying: "I don't think the coach needs to substitute me, but I deserve more respect."

He also added: "I haven't thought about what I'm going to do at the end of the season, now I concentrate only on the national team and Southampton."

Puel's preference for a rotation system has been a significant feature of his management since his summer appointment, and asked if he had spoken to the 28-year-old, he responded: "Yes.

"All the players can have disappointment after the game. I understand this but we sorted it internally.

"He knows it was not a good response. It is always better to give good answers on the pitch."

Among those vying for selection with Tadic is £16million club record signing Sofiane Boufal, 23, who recently complained he has not received enough protection from Premier League referees.

Puel, whose team on Saturday host south coast rivals Bournemouth, also has plans to speak to the midfielder in an attempt to help him rediscover his confidence.

Saturday's fixture represents Southampton's first at St Mary's since February 4. They remain without the injured Manolo Gabbiadini, Charlie Austin and Virgil van Dijk, and the 55-year-old Puel said: "It is a little difficult for Sofiane. We know his talent. He's a fantastic player.

"At the moment he has some confidence problems and I need to discuss with him to find a solution.

"It is important to see at this level his quality; he is happy to play with this team.

"There is a lot of pressure on him and it is difficult for him to have just 15 to 25 minutes to play.

"He likes to play and needs confidence to give all his possibilities.

"(Van Dijk's) is a long injury and we will see if he can come back before the end of the season.

"The injury does not change anything. He is an important player for us, our captain and it is important he takes this role with good quality, good attitude and good spirit.

"For me he is among the best defenders in the Premier League but he can play with us and we can give him good maturity for the future."

Source: PA