Saints V JIangsu Suning
Thursday, 12th Jul 2018 16:07
Saints ran out comfortable winners against Jiangsu Sunning on Wednesday evening, our man in China gives his report.
Mark Hughes took this game a little more seriously than the last in that he chose not to switch the entire side round at half time, it should be remembered that the Chinese side are just coming out of a month long mid season break and Saints are barely a week into pre season training and it showed.
Too many passes went astray and there was too much sloppiness, when Manolo Gabbiadini headed home in the 26th minute it looked like it would be easy for Saints but within 8 minutes they were behind and it was all down to sloppiness at the back. But they drew level when Nathan Redmond slotted home from the edge of the box after an awful flap from the keeper.
Hughes kept faith with most of the side at half time and in truth a couple of scrapes aside when Fraser Forster made a smart save or two, Saints had much of the ball, the game was won by a smartly taken goal from Sam Gallagher and it was a deserved win that in the final stages looked like it could have been by more.
Overall verdict is that this is a game that is difficult to take anything out of it, it is too early in the preparations for Saints to be anything like fit or sharp, it was all about team bonding and most of the squad to get a feel of the ball.
It was not about the result but about Mark Hughes getting to know his squad and where he needs to improve, with the slack defending for both goals he may have a few ideas.
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