Mauricio Pellegrino demands Southampton courage in relegation scrap
By Zinny Boswell
Last Updated: 14/02/18 6:57pm
Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino says his players must be "brave" and "show their character" to survive Premier League relegation.
Following Sunday's 3-0 defeat to Liverpool at St Mary's, Southampton find themselves one point adrift of safety with only one win since the turn of the year.
With just 11 games remaining in the Premier League season, Pellegrino has demanded his players show their courage and grit to help the club avoid relegation six years after returning to the top flight of English football.
"If the game is going to plan, everything is right, but in some moments the opponent is better than you and it's unexpected," Pellegrino told Sky Sports News.
"In this moment you need to be really brave and you have to show your character, to be strong enough to challenge in this situation.
"It's difficult [to be brave], it's not easy. But, also it's a really nice challenge because the most beautiful thing in football is that we are competitive people. If not it's impossible to be at this level."
Pellegrino believes the scrap for Premier League survival is a great spectacle for fans and claimed there is more interest from around the world in the relegation fight than the title race.
Five points separate 10th-placed Bournemouth and the relegation zone, with 11 sides seemingly fighting to avoid relegation.
"One of the best things that the Premier League has got is that the competition is really hard and the emotion is there until the end," said Pellegrino.
"It's more difficult the situation in the bottom of the table than in the top, because Manchester City is away [with] a lot of points. But in the bottom of the table, every person that I know from different countries, it's about watching the game from the relegation."