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Pellegrino: We are ready to compete

The new boss is keen for Southampton to make a fast start to the Premier League season.

Southampton v FC Augsburg - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino is ready to get the new Premier League campaign under way, which kicks off against Swansea later today.

“Obviously we want to finish in the best possible position, but we have to think about [to win] tomorrow because it is the only opportunity that we have to get three points in the first Premier League kickoff,” Pellegrino said.

Southampton finished in eighth place last year, but struggled at home, as well as in front of goal. Their 41 goals was the fewest of any team in the top half of the table.

“We cannot control the score, the result,” added Pellegrino. “We can control our behaviour on the pitch, our dynamic offensively and defensively, and we will push for that.”

Southampton’s last victory on the opening day of the season came in 2013-14 when they beat West Brom 1-0.

But Pellegrino is looking to keep Southampton on an upward trajectory, despite hints the club’s progression could stall this year.

“This is a long process,” he began. “At the beginning I don’t want to change a lot of things. I try to, right now, adapt what they were doing last season — obviously I am working with my ideas but this is a long process.

“We’ve got a lot of thing that we can improve. For me, the most important thing now is to create this base that will be the spirit of the team.”