Southampton manager Mark Hughes knows a lot about being a goalscorer, netting 164 in his playing career while featuring for clubs such as Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and, of course, the Saints.
However, Hughes’ Saints side have had the fifth most shots in the Premier League and the division’s second-worst conversion rate. Damning statistics for any manager to read.
Southampton are reportedly on their worst scoring drought since October 2004.
Saturday was no different. Charlie Austin fluffed his lines in an attempt to round AFC Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic in Saturday’s 0-0 draw (surprise, no goals scored). Meanwhile, Manolo Gabbiadini also missed a free header in the dying minutes, costing Saints a valuable win.
Given his team’s woes in front of goal, Hughes looks set to go back to basics, based on what worked for him as a player when he endured a barren spell of not scoring.
“When I was on a run of not scoring and getting frustrated, I would just go back to the basics in training and do repetition of work,” Hughes said. “You remind yourself of what the ball hitting the back of the net sounds like.
“Then when things do fall for you, because of the work you’ve done on the training ground, you do it naturally and that’s when you score.
“We’re getting in good areas and we have good moments,’ Hughes said. ‘We should have converted more chances than we have. Our chance conversion rate is poor. If we can improve that, clearly that’s going to help us.”