Saints pair on the mend
By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Matthew Oakley and Peter Crouch have both made returns for Southampton.Matthew Oakley and Peter Crouch have handed Southampton a double boost by coming through a reserve team fixture unscathed.
Midfielder Oakley completed 90 minutes against their Chelsea counterparts to end a nightmare 14 months on the sidelines, courtesy of damage to his cruciate ligament.
The player concedes he was pleased to complete the game without any scares, but acknowledges he needs further action to regain match fitness.
''I don't want to put pressure on myself by setting a target because at the moment I get two good days and then a bad day and it all depends on how quickly I get over that bad day,'' Oakley told the club's official website.
''I struggled for the last 15 minutes, but after 14 months out, I was quite pleased to get through it.
''It is up to the manager and he'll play me when he thinks I am ready.''
Crouch, who has been out since October, returned to action with a brace in the same game, as Southampton won 2-0.
The former Portsmouth and Aston Villa targetman is hopeful his return to goalscoring action could land him a starting berth at the weekend.
He said: ''I have had a while off, but I feel as ready as ever now.
''The knee is fine, I have got no problem with that and I am just chomping at the bit to get a game.
''Hopefully, I have given the manager a bit of a headache with scoring and that keeps me in contention for the game against Norwich.''