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

07 Oct 2012 09:54:23

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

Southampton V Fulham - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Davis eyes Fulham win Steven Davis admits "everybody's hurting" at Southampton after their difficult start to life back in the top flight and has targeted a morale-boosting victory over former club Fulham on Sunday. Saints ended their seven-year exile from the Premier League after securing automatic promotion from the second tier last season, although life back in the big time has proved difficult so far. Nigel Adkins' side have suffered five defeats and, while both Manchester clubs and Arsenal are included in that statistic, they have just the one victory to their name - a 4-1 defeat of Aston Villa in their last home match. For Davis, it has been difficult to get used to negative results after a sustained spell of success with Rangers but, having beaten former club Villa, the midfielder is targeting a similar result when Fulham come to St Mary's. "I think it is obviously a different pressure," the Northern Ireland captain, who joined Saints in the summer, told Press Association Sport. "The rest of the lads here are used to winning as well over the last couple of season so everybody's hurting. "But there is also a realism that you're playing in the Premier League and every match is tough. "You need to fight to get results in each and every game, but I think for large periods in each and every game we've showed we're capable of playing at this level. "It is just about ironing out the little mistakes that have cost us." As well as looking to secure three points, Davis is looking forward to catching up with a few old faces. The 27-year-old only spent a brief period with Fulham during what proved a difficult 2007/08 season for the club, but he still has fond memories of his time in west London. "I was only there for a short period of time," Davis said. "It was a difficult time for the club in terms of results. "The team only narrowly missed out on relegation that season but I still have fond memories of playing for the club. It was a good place to go into work every day."

Fulham manager Martin Jol believes Rickie Lambert is one of the best target men in England but knows he is not the only threat posed by Southampton. Saints have endured a tough start to life back in the top flight after a seven-year absence, with their only points coming in the recent 4-1 defeat of Aston Villa. Lambert netted twice in that victory and also scored against both Manchester sides in what has so far been an impressive start to his first season in the Premier League. Jol has been impressed by the 30-year-old's exploits and expects a tough challenge against the recently-promoted side. "Rickie Lambert is probably one of the best target man we've got in England," the Fulham boss said. "He is very dangerous with crosses, especially at the far post. "If you see their line-up and if you are capable as a club of getting the likes of Gaston Ramirez then you're heading in the right direction. "I thought they were very unfortunate in two or three matches, even against Manchester City away from home. They should have quite a few more points. "They play with four players up front and if you talk about Ramirez, Adam Lallana and the like, they are all good players. "You saw that in the first 30 minutes against Everton and against Man City, for example. I think they've got the quality to survive in the league and to hurt you." Despite some impressive performances, Southampton's poor start to the season saw pressure begin to mount on manager Nigel Adkins. The former Scunthorpe boss led Saints to successive promotions from League One, but reports suggested former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez or - rather surprisingly - ex-Saints and Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp could replace him. "That is football, you know? You can do well and someone will say anything and then you get a different perception," Jol said. Jol will be missing talisman Dimitar Berbatov for the trip to St Mary's due to injury and could also have to do without Mladen Petric, who picked up a calf complaint yesterday. Kieran Richardson does, though, return for a Fulham side boosted by Philippe Senderos, Pajtim Kasami, Kerim Frei and Ashkan Dejagah stepping up their return to fitness.


PA

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