Saints Head To China
Tuesday, 3rd Jul 2018 16:26
With the squad only returning to training last Thursday and some still missing thought World Cup duty and signing for Ajax, the trip to China will have more important things to achieve than winning games of football.
Saints will be going to China for many reasons, but possibly the last thing they will be looking to achieve is back to back wins on the tour.
It is firstly about Mark Hughes getting most of his squad together and bonding with them as well as introducing a couple of new faces.
Secondly it will be bout assessing fitness levels and then building on them.
Thirdly will be a little bit of match practice, but this will very much be low key with the emphasis on everyone getting a game and a bit of a feel for the ball.
Lastly and perhaps most importantly it will be a PR exercise for GAO Jisheng to show his fellow countrymen his team and perhaps start to build a profile for the club in China.
Whilst some will scoff and make glib comments about signing players first etc, building our name in World football is all part of what the biggest clubs do, it is about building up the global brand albeit in a much smaller status than the big six Premier League clubs.
So this jaunt will tell Mark Hughes little about his team from a playing perspective, but he might get to know a few things about the mentality of his players.
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