Southampton midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg praised the difference new manager Mark Hughes has made in his early days at Saints as they booked their place at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea with a 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic.
“The coach said before the game today the key would be mentality, desire and hard work because he knew that we had the quality,” Hojbjerg said as per Saints’ official site.
“I think I speak on everyone’s behalf when I say it has been positive. It is a new impulse, new energy, good vibes, a fresh start. He worked a lot on intensity and discipline, and the desire to go the extra yards as individuals and as a team.
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“We have some really good players and maybe this is the perfect fit, nothing is perfect in this world but it’s a good start, let me just say that.”
That’s definitely positive to hear from the perspective of a Southampton fan and the team’s second-half performance suggests he could be a manager who makes a difference with this squad at his disposal.
Then there’s the fact Hojbjerg and Cedric - the Wigan game’s two goalscorers - netted their first goals for the club under Hughes’ debut as Southampton manager.
Hughes has some task ahead of him to keep Saints afloat in the Premier League, but the atmosphere around the club seems positive considering their league position.