Davis expecting lively encounter

By SFC Media time Thu 25 Dec Men's First team

Steven Davis is expecting a lively encounter when Southampton travel to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace on Boxing Day.

Saints have not conceded a goal in their last five league meetings with Palace, winning all of those games, but Davis admits Selhurst Park is always a tough place to go.

Jay Rodriguez scored the only goal of the game last season as Saints won 1-0 to follow up a 2-0 success at St Mary’s earlier in the campaign and despite seeing the Eagles sitting 17th in the table, Davis knows it won’t be easy to make it back-to-back wins.

“I think it’s always a tough place to go,” Davis told reporters ahead of the game on Boxing Day. “They get good backing from the fans and it’s always quite a lively encounter.

“You know it’s going to be competitive so it’s a game if you win you feel you’ve had to work hard for it and I’m sure this one will be no different.

“Momentum is massive in football, and if you can put together a run of results then confidence starts to build and the game almost becomes a little bit easier.

"It’s important. We’ll take confidence from the last performance against Everton into Crystal Palace and show the same effort and desire we did and hopefully pick up another result.”

With three games in the space of a week, Davis says it’s pleasing to see the likes of Victor Wanyama and Morgan Schneiderlin back available after suspension, while Dušan Tadić is back fit after injury.

But Davis was very impressed with the way Saints dealt with their absence in the 3-0 win against Everton last weekend and believes the likes of Harry Reed have given the manager something to ponder ahead of Palace.

“It’s going to be a lot of games in a short space of time,” he added, “and it’s important that we try and keep everybody fit and I think that’s always the message in December and January.

“Just to try and keep everybody fit and available for selection is vital to give the manager something to think about. Obviously, the likes of Harry coming in at the weekend – he put in a really strong performance, I’m delighted for him.

“It gives the manager something more to think about as well. Although you never want suspensions and injuries, sometimes it gives an opportunity to somebody like Harry and it’s more competition for places.”

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