Claude Puel urges Southampton to be clinical against Crystal Palace
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 03/04/17 6:29pm
Claude Puel has challenged his Southampton side to be more clinical in front of goal in their midweek Premier League clash against in-form Crystal Palace.
The Saints were held to a goalless draw against Bournemouth on Saturday after missing numerous chances to claim all three points with the Frenchman insisting that his side's lacklustre performance was due to tiredness following the international break.
Despite scoring 11 goals in their last five games, Puel believes his side will need to be at their best if they are to overcome a Palace side who have won four games on the spin, including a 2-1 victory over Chelsea on Saturday.
"It's important now to find a good balance, to find a clinical edge because we haven't scored in the last game," he said.
"Against Sunderland, Watford we found a good clinical (edge). All of this is interesting, all the team took confidence. It's important to have a good feeling about this.
"We have a solution with Jay Rodriguez or Shane Long.
"It's important to have a good feeling with all the players. You can score the first goal after the team can take confidence and it's better for the next [game]."
Southampton occupy 10th position in the table but the six teams below them are within three points.
Meanwhile, Puel is hopeful striker Manolo Gabbiadini will make a return to action for their clash against Manchester City on April 15.
The striker missed the Bournemouth game after suffering a groin injury prior to the international break.
The former Napoli frontman, who bagged five goals in his first four starts for the club, will miss their midweek game against Palace but Puel said he has taken part in light training.
"He has started to run but cannot, for the moment, make the full training session with the squad," said the Frenchman.
"I hope (he can be back) the next week and if he cannot participate and stay available, we will wait for the next game against Manchester City. He is an important player for us but for now I prefer speaking about Jay (Rodriguez) or Shane (Long) because now they are the important players for us."
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