Victory the priority for Puel


Southampton boss Claude Puel insists victory over Burnley on Sunday is more important than setting clean sheet records.

The Saints are currently enjoying a good run of form, as they are unbeaten in their last six matches in all competitions, and they have not conceded a goal during that time.

If the south-coast club keep a clean sheet against Burnley at St Mary’s on Sunday and then do the same against Inter Milan in the Europa League on Thursday, they will equal a club record of eight consecutive clean sheets, a feat they achieved across two seasons in 1922.

Puel’s men have been held to back-to-back 0-0 draws in their last two matches, against Hapoel Be’er Sheva and Leicester, and the Frenchman insists he would rather see his side win against the Clarets than maintain their impressive defensive record.

He said: “It’s not important for me. It’s interesting because you show that you are strong and with a good solidarity, but the most important thing is to win the game.

“If you can score two or three goals it will be fantastic and the same if you concede one or two goals, it’s not a problem for me.”

The former Nice boss is keen to achieve a positive result against Burnley, as the match marks the start of a busy month for the Saints, with a further six matches to be played over the next three weeks.

The 55-year-old admits that he will have to rotate his squad during the congested fixture schedule, as he bids to help his team succeed domestically and also in Europe.

“All the players want to play every game,” he added. “It’s important for me to do a selection and to have opportunities for the team to win every game.”

Southampton secured a sixth-place finish in the Premier League last season and punters may choose to use their free bet to back the in-form team to achieve a similar finish this term.


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