Premier League: Southampton closing in on clean-sheets record
Southampton are closing in on their best defensive start to the season in the top flight.
Last Updated: 06/10/13 12:59pm
Saints have conceded just two goals in their first six games in the Premier League this season, and one more clean sheet would see them match their previous best back in 1983-84.
That year, Steve Moran and Danny Wallace scored the goals that propelled Southampton to the runners-up spot in the league, by just three points, behind Liverpool - the club's best-ever finish.
The foundations were built on solid defence though - England legend Peter Shilton was in goal, with the likes of Mark Wright, Mick Mills, Mark Dennis and Ivan Golac in front of him in a no-nonsense back-four.
This season, Artur Boruc, Nathaniel Clyne, Jose Fonte and Luke Shaw are the mainstays and Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino believes they can equal the record at home to Swansea on Sunday.
He said: "I can't speak for the period before I was here but from the moment I arrived, we were one of the teams that conceded the least goals.
"This is my first season with the team starting with an actual pre-season with the team. We have changed and signed some new players.
"We are reaping the benefits of our work and our belief in how we want to play. We just want to keep working in this way, keep our good run and keep on this way."
Saints have conceded goals against Sunderland and Norwich, with West Brom, West Ham, Liverpool and Crystal Palace all shut out.
"Our set-up is very clear - we want to defend by keeping possession of the ball," said Pochettino. "We want to be as effective on the attack, to be as far away from our end of the pitch as possible.
"That's how we want to play, that's how we're playing and we're pleased with how we're playing.
"We also know we are running a certain risk when we play that way because we might be giving the ball away but it's our philosophy, it's how we want to play and we want to believe we can play and succeed in playing that way."