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Southampton need to create more chances for Manolo Gabbiadini, says Claude Puel

WATFORD, ENGLAND - MARCH 04: Manolo Gabbiadini of Southampton celebrates scoring his fourth goal during the Premier League match between Watford and Southa
Image: Saints boss Claude Puel has urged his side to provide more for forward Manolo Gabbiadini

Claude Puel has challenged Southampton's midfielders to hand Manolo Gabbiadini the service to drive the deadly Italian back to his goal-scoring best.

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Gabbiadini struck six times in his first four Southampton matches in all competitions, but has since drawn a blank in four Premier League appearances.

Saints laboured to a goalless draw against Hull last time out and must now sharpen up their attacking play at Liverpool on Sunday.

Manolo Gabbiadini scored the opening goal via his upper arm
Image: Gabbiadini has scored six goals in eight games but hasn't hit the net in the last four league games

And former Nice boss Puel has accepted Gabbiadini needs smarter support from Saints' creative talents.

"Football's a collective game, a striker needs good quality in the final third," said Puel.

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"Manolo is a very good striker but he needs to have good opportunities because it's very interesting but it's important to see him, to find a good relationship and create the possibilities for him, to play in the final third.

Claude Puel wants to continue working on his Southampton "project"
Image: Puel wants the rest of his squad to 'find spaces, good crosses and good passes' for the Italian striker

"Because all this quality around the box with good moves, with clinical edge, to finish the action.

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"And of course we need to find the spaces, good crosses, good passes, and good balance between the players.

"We've found it in many games but it wasn't there against Hull and it was difficult for our offensive players to find a situation and solution."

Claude Puel thinks he was right to make so many changes to his Southampton team against West Brom
Image: Puel's Saints next face Liverpool away at Anfield in the league on Super Sunday

Puel's Southampton next travel to Liverpool on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports 1HD, looking for a return to winning ways after three league games without victory.

The last time the Saints were at Anfield, Puel's men pulled off a battling 1-0 win that secured their place in the EFL Cup final.

A similar result this weekend could see them rise up into the Premier League's top eight.

Grab a Sky Sports Day Pass and strap yourself in for a blockbuster Super Sunday as Southampton face Liverpool. All the action live on NOW TV, no contract!

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