Southampton boss Mark Hughes demands brighter start


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Southampton boss Mark Hughes is keen for his players to start games better after being disappointed with their efforts in the opening period of the games against Burnley and Everton.

Saints escaped with a point from a goalless draw against the Clarets on the opening weekend of the campaign but conceded two goals in the first 30 minutes against Everton and eventually lost the encounter 2-1.

Southampton entertain Claude Puel’s Leicester City on Saturday and are 2.40 to win the St Mary’s clash.

Hughes said: “The opening periods of games are the chance to state your intentions for the game and you can set markers down for the rest of the game as well, so you’ve got to start brightly and make sure you can maintain that if you can. We will try and do that.

“We were probably guilty against Burnley of showing a little bit too much apprehension, but there’s no need for it.

“We have to make sure we are on the front foot, competitive and asking questions of teams when they come to our home ground.”

Hughes should be able to call on the services of Moi Elyounoussi for the game against the Foxes as he has recovered from a hamstring problem while Jannik Vestergaard is available after missing the Everton match through illness.

Former Stoke City boss Hughes is keen to have a flexible approach to games, adding: “Knowing the players have a good understanding of what we are doing and what we will try and achieve if we try and change things is important for us.”

Southampton only just avoided relegation from the Premier League last season and are 5.00 to go down this term, while they are 3.20 to draw the game against Leicester.

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