Senegal international Sadio Mane says that Southampton can maintain their position in the Premier League top four going into the Christmas period. The Saints have been the surprise package in the league this campaign after storming their way to second place after 11 matches.
They are only four points away from table leaders Chelsea, who have been unbeaten this campaign. Southampton were expected to struggle after losing a number of first-team players like Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw over the summer. New manager Ronald Koeman made some vital changes to the team that appears to have transformed them into a well-oiled unit.
Even though Southampton are second in the table after 11 matches, not many are expecting them to retain this position in the top four at the end of the campaign. Clubs that usually start well often fade away in the second half of the season. The Saints had a similar start under Mauricio Pochettino only to fade away in the second half and finished closer to the bottom half of the table. A major difference between the Southampton team under Pochettino and the current one is the ability to defend well. Southampton have the best defensive record in the league after conceding only five goals.
“I hope and I am confident that we can hold this pace and level of playing football.Obviously, in the Premier League there are always the three, four or five big teams which can be found at the top of the table, but I am glad that so far, there are some teams up there that could be called a little surprise, including us.However, we have to stay realistic. It will be hard to remain where we are today. We will give our best to defend this place, and I have no doubt we have the potential and will,” said Mane.