Southampton V QPR at St. Mary's Stadium : LIVE

By 27 September 2014 08:00
Southampton V QPR - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Clyne's on course for England call

Nathaniel Clyne is one of the best right-backs Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has ever coached.

Calls are growing for the highly-talented 23-year-old to follow in the footsteps of Saints team-mates past and present by getting England recognition.

Clyne has improved markedly since arriving at St Mary's in 2012, and has been a key component in what has been the Premier League's tightest defence this term.

Saints boss Koeman knows a thing or two about defending himself and has seen few better than the former Crystal Palace full-back.

"In my opinion, Clyne is one of the best right full-backs that I've had in my teams during the last 15 years," he said.

"That means a lot because I like to play with offensive right and left full-backs and he has that qualities, he's fast and gives good crosses.

"I'm happy but I'm not in the position to tell the national coach of somebody else about him.

"He shows his quality from the beginning of the season and if he continues like that he will get a call, for sure.

"If he shows his qualities game by game, then I'm sure he will get finally a call to be a national player."

Clyne and his team-mates have conceded just three top-flight goals so far this term and head into this weekend's clash with QPR second in the Premier League.

Only Chelsea are above Saints and, despite them having conceded seven goals, Koeman pointed to Jose Mourinho as the mentality to replicate.

"To win points, to win games, it starts at the back," he said. "It starts in the defence.

"That's the reason that we bought Fraser Forster because he is a fantastic goalkeeper with a future in the club.

"We have a strong defence. It's all about organisation in the team and one time a week we do unit training. We make three groups and we have training for the defenders, for midfielders and for forwards.

"That is an example of how we try to do work the whole week. Building a house you don't start at the top, you start at the bottom. That makes winning teams.

"Jose Mourinho has shown that for a long time in the way he is doing that."

Toby Alderweireld and Maya Yoshida will be assessed. The centre-backs have hamstring and ankle complaints, respectively, making them a doubt.

James Ward-Prowse has been ruled out for up to 12 weeks with a fractured foot, while Sadio Mane could make his Premier League debut after impressing in the Capital One Cup win at Arsenal.

Meanwhile, QPR boss Harry Redknapp believes Rio Ferdinand has all the qualities to be "another Michel Platini" and take up a role running the game.

Press Association Sport revealed earlier this week that Ferdinand is in contention to be the Football Association's candidate for Britain's FIFA vice-presidential position despite his current playing commitments at Loftus Road.

The 35-year-old defender is coming to the end of an illustrious playing career that has included winning six Premier League titles, the Champions League and playing at two World Cups.

Ferdinand spent seven years under Redknapp's tutelage at West Ham and the now-QPR boss has no doubt the former Manchester United defender has a lot to offer the game once he hangs up his boots.

"He could be another Michel Platini (UEFA president) - that'd be nice for him and why not?" Redknapp said.

"He's a bright boy and a lovely guy - an absolute class act on and off the field - he's smart and a top boy."

Ferdinand, who grew up in Peckham in south London, has shown a strong interest in community work in the past.

He set up The Rio Ferdinand Foundation, which uses role models to help children in education and employment, as well as taking an active role in anti-racism, Aids awareness and child literacy campaigns.

"We need more people like him running the game," Redknapp said. "He's got great knowledge of the game and is a great role model.

"He's come out of a working class area in south London area and he's made it.

"I've known him since he was 14 and he's a fantastic boy and he hasn't changed a bit as a person, he's just got a bit more experience now but as a person he's top class."

Sandro's knee injury is less serious than first feared but the QPR midfielder is unlikely to return for Saturday's trip.

The Brazilian appeared to injure his knee while celebrating a goal in training and was absent for last weekend's 2-2 draw against Stoke.

Joey Barton and Jordon Mutch are both out with hamstring injuries while Niko Kranjcar is doubtful after picking up a knock against Stoke. Adel Taarabt has a sore ankle and is also unavailable.

Source: PA

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