Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse has called for improved home form to help the club propel up the Premier League table.
Despite a relatively easy early season run-in of fixtures, Mauricio Pellegrino’s Saints have struggled to find consistency in both results and performances in the 2017/18 league campaign so far.
Southampton have only won once at home so far this season—a shaky 3-2 victory over struggling West Ham United courtesy of two penalties—while dropping points to Swansea City, Watford and Manchester United.
To further compound Saints’ issues at home, the club have failed to score in eight of their last nine matches at St. Mary’s.
“It is an important period,” said Ward-Prowse as per the Daily Echo. “We want to make St Mary’s a fortress and a place where we know we are either going to win the game or have a chance of winning the game, so those home games are important.
“We just need to keep plugging away at what we are doing and what we have been working on and keep belief in the players as to what we can go out and deliver.”
With former Saints boss Ronald Koeman’s Everton currently struggling to find form—a team many pundits believed to be a safe bet for a top seven league finish—this could be a season which sees Southampton sneak back into Europa League contention if the squad can string together a sequence of positive results.
“It’s a long season and there will be ups and downs,” added Ward-Prowse. “Every season I have been a part of so far there has been good times and there’s been bad times. But the spirit of the players in the club means I’m sure we will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.
“The players, the manager, the infrastructure of the club, the facilities, it’s all geared around European football and we are desperate to get back there for sure.
“That’s the ambition of every player and the manager as well, so let’s go out and get it.”
Saints will attempt to rejuvenate their home form on Sunday as they welcome recently-promoted Newcastle to St. Mary’s.