Southampton V AFC Bournemouth at St. Mary's Stadium : Match Preview

31 March 2017 03:34
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Southampton will benefit from England call-ups says Claude Puel

Claude Puel has urged Southampton's new England internationals not to change the approach that earned them their senior debuts, and believes his club can benefit from the experience they will gain.

The manager recently watched Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse make their first Three Lions appearances, against Germany, and in the same squad in which Ryan Bertrand and Fraser Forster have long featured.

He is happy two of his finest players' progress is being recognised by Gareth Southgate. He is also confident that it will further encourage their development, as long as they maintain the dedication that led to their first caps.

"I didn't want to give them pressure," said Frenchman Puel, 55. "It's important they keep a good attitude. The will to make progress every time, and to improve, is the most important thing.

"They are the same (in training since representing England). And I want them to stay with the same attitude, and humility.

"For example, Ward-Prowse stays at the end of the training sessions to continue to work, he doesn't change anything. It's the same for Nathan.

"It was important to perform and to continue this work. It was an opportunity for them, it was a fantastic thing for them, but they now come back to work, with good results.

"For the young players it was very interesting for them to see the national team, and important for the club also, because all this is a good response for their work at this club for many years."

Puel's positivity regarding his internationals' involvement comes at a time when Everton's Ronald Koeman has again been critical of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, following injuries suffered by James McCarthy and Seamus Coleman.

Manchester United's Chris Smalling and Phil Jones and Liverpool's Adam Lallana also suffered injuries with England that will concern club managers Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp.

Puel is already without the absent Virgil van Dijk, Charlie Austin and Manolo Gabbiadini for this Saturday's home Premier League fixture with Bournemouth, but he said: "It was a good reward to see Nathan and James on the national team.

"This is great for the team and we need to continue that.

"It's great, fantastic for the club, for them and all this we've done with a good feeling and focus about the Premier League and all the games.

"We have had 15 international players (away during the international football break)."

Another international, Uruguay's Martin Caceres, could make his Southampton debut on Saturday after the defender was declared available for the first time.

Meanwhile, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe feels on-loan Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere faces an "interesting" decision in the summer over where to further his career.

The 25-year-old swapped north London for the south coast in August, joining the Cherries for the remainder of the campaign as he looked to make the most of first-team opportunities.

Recently, though, Wilshere has not been able to force his way back into the side on a regular basis following recovery from an ankle injury and had to make do with a place on the bench for the last three matches before the international break.

Wilshere was not called up by new England boss Gareth Southgate and there has been speculation the combative midfielder might look to move abroad for the next stage of his development, with Italian club AC Milan one possible destination.

Howe has yet to rule out looking to make Wilshere's transfer permanent and will keep a close eye on developments.

"Jack will be the one who decides his future, in conjunction with Arsenal," Howe said.

"It was very clear at the start of this loan he was going to make his decision in terms of the next steps for him in the summer.

"He just wanted to concentrate on his football with us, to try to just have the best season that he can.

"Jack has certainly had a good season with us as far as I am concerned, and it will be interesting to see what happens beyond that point."

Howe hinted he could bring Wilshere back into the team for Saturday's late-kick off.

"He is certainly in the mix, a player of his quality," Howe said at a press conference.

"Jack picked up an ankle injury against Manchester City and in the following games we have picked up some good results, so it has been difficult to change a winning team when it is performing so well.

"We know his qualities and he is ready to go if he is selected on Saturday."

Source: PAR