OptiNews - Friday 22 to Thursday 28 September 2017

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Optimus trousers posted this 28 September 2017

Sourced from talkSPORT article

Mauricio Pellegrino challenges Virgil van Dijk to earn back Southampton captaincy

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Virgil van Dijk must earn back the honour of captaining Southampton, according to boss Mauricio Pellegrino.

Steven Davis will remain as Southampton's club captain despite Van Dijk's return to the St Mary's fold.

Van Dijk failed to push through a summer move to Liverpool and continues to be integrated back into Saints' first team.

The 26-year-old could well be on the bench again for Saturday's Premier League trip to Stoke, with manager Pellegrino insisting he must keep working hard to earn back Saints' trust in his leadership.

"Virgil is still one of our captains," said Pellegrino, who has skippered Saints in the past.

"I'm not thinking about this (changing club captain).

"But being captain for me, it's not a position, it's a decision: if you want to be captain, you have to deserve it."

Asked if Van Dijk deserves to captain Southampton again, Pellegrino replied: "I will think about it.

"Little by little he's getting better. It's difficult to see the best version of Virgil in his first or second game back, but we have to be patient.

"We've got another two weeks after this game due to the international break, and we'll play a friendly game in the middle.

"We're happy with his attitude, he's helping his team-mates."

Southampton have scored just four goals in six league games in a turgid opening to new boss Pellegrino's tenure.

The former Liverpool coach insists that all his players will be vital to ending that goal drought, not just his strikers.

Italy forward Manolo Gabbiadini has scored just one goal in his last 14 Premier League appearances, but Pellegrino remains unfazed by his side's finishing shortcomings.

"We have to improve our overall play in the final third," said Pellegrino.

"We need more character, belief and instinct - and we need more bodies in the box.

"But it's the most difficult thing. How many chances did Manchester United create against us, and they've got a player with quality, a massive player, and they score once. But that's football."

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Optimus trousers posted this 28 September 2017

Sourced from Southampton FC - Official Site article

Pellegrino: International call-ups good for Saints

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The Southampton boss was quick to congratulate ‘keeper Fraser Forster and Ryan Bertrand on their inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Slovenia and Lithuania, while also admitting it can be a nervous time for managers as they hope all their players return fully fit.

“Congratulations to Fraser and Ryan for making the squad. In my opinion, England have one of the strongest national teams in the world," said Pellegrino.

“I always have mixed feelings about these matches. I am worried about the fitness of my squad when they are away and playing abroad. Nearly half of our group will be around the world next week which is not ideal but it is something that we are used to.

“I wish the guys the best and I hope they all return fit and healthy next month.”

When asked of the influence Forster and Bertrand’s call-ups may have in terms of inspiring the younger members of his squad, the Argentine added that the faith shown in his players from international coaches can only be a good thing for the football club.

He concluded, “It is a good signal for Southampton that we have so many important younger players like James Ward-Prowse, Nathan Redmond, Matt Targett, Sam McQueen, Shane Long, Manolo Gabbiadini and Mario Lemina who have represented their countries at junior and senior level."

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Optimus trousers posted this 28 September 2017

Sourced from A tweet by SouthamptonFC tweet

@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

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#SaintsFC's @OficialCedric gives his thoughts ahead of the away trip to face #SCFC in the #PL this weekend:

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Optimus trousers posted this 28 September 2017

Sourced from Premier League - Official Site article

DEFAULTVideo: Three key points: Stoke v Southampton

Optimus trousers posted this 28 September 2017

Sourced from A tweet by SouthamptonFC tweet

@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

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All smiles at Staplewood today! Check out the best images from #SaintsFC's Thursday training session 😇:… https://twitter.com/i/web/status/913508868327604224

Retweets: 1

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Optimus trousers posted this 28 September 2017

Sourced from Daily Star article

Virgil Van Dijk excites Liverpool fans after claiming Sturridge is best striker in Prem

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Southampton’s Dutch defender was heavily tipped to make the switch to Anfield this summer in one of the transfer window’s most intriguing sagas. His transfer request was rejected by Saints officials however, leaving his future in limbo after Liverpool failed with a series of big-money bids. Now stuck at St Mary’s until January at least, Van Dijk appears ready for a return to the Southampton first-team.

Earlier this week, he spent time with former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, who unveiled the 26-year-old’s latest stats on the new FIFA 18 game. And in a chat with Ferdinand, Van Dijk revealed who he believed to be the most dangerous strikers he is tasked with facing in the Premier League. “I think Sturridge when he is fit,” the former Celtic man said.

“I think Aguero is also an amazing striker – small, quick.” Liverpool fans were quick to pick up on the hint, flocking to Twitter to air their thoughts on the clip. “Lad wants to be a Red real bad. Hope it happens in Jan,” said one supporter. Another wrote: “Now he’s just begging for a transfer." Bookmakers 888sport are currently offering 2/1 for Van Dijk to become a Liverpool player in the next transfer window.

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Summary of non-mainstream articles: 28/09/2017 22:15:17

Stoke City vs Southampton: Match Preview READSOUTHAMPTON

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Optimus trousers posted this 28 September 2017

Sourced from Southampton FC - Official Site article

Video: Cédric previews Stoke clash

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