Chris Perry will be an interested spectator when two of his former clubs go head-to-head on Saturday, and the defender feels that the match has the makings of a classic.
Perry made over 100 league appearances for Tottenham over four seasons, and ended his career with Southampton in League 1 during 2010, making his last ever appearance in Saints’ Johnstone’s Paint Trophy success at Wembley.
Now splitting his time between coaching and media work, Perry is well-placed to give his thoughts on this weekend’s Barclays Premier League meeting.
“It’s going to be interesting and it will be a good game of football too,” he told SAINTS – the club’s official matchday magazine. “Both teams play nice football, they both want to attack and press, so it’s going to be a good game.
“I’ve seen a fair bit of Saints this season and I’ve been really impressed. To be honest, at the start of the season there were a lot of people writing Saints off and saying that with the amount of players they’ve lost and the names that were coming in weren’t really known to the Premier League.
“People were writing them off by saying they’re possible candidates for relegation and, to be honest, I was one who wasn’t saying they were going to get relegated, but I did think perhaps it might be a season of transition and you might have to settle for mid-table mediocrity, but it seems that Saints have surpassed everyone’s expectations. Fair play to Ronald Koeman, he obviously knew the players that he was buying in from the Dutch league and they’ve all excelled.”
Perry, who went on to coach Dagenham’s under-16s after leaving Southampton, is familiar with Saints’ young players having worked with them in the latter stages of his time on the south coast, and is pleased that the club’s academy has continue to produce so much talent.
“The academy has played a big part and he [Koeman] has been able to dip into that by bringing players in when they’re ready for the first team, but that’s always been the way at Saints from the time I was there, there were always players ready to come into the first team. There’s that conveyor belt and it’s going to carry on.
“It’s an amazing story this season, and playing in the Europa League next season would be fitting. I think it’s pretty much guaranteed now for both Saints and Spurs next season, but it’s deserving of the club’s achievements and everyone who was at the club from the time when it went into administration and came out of it. Markus Liebherr put his money in and the club has surged forward, so European football will be the culmination of that, and the next target will be to try and push on into the Champions League on a regular basis.”
Read the full interview with Chris Perry inside Saturday’s edition of SAINTS which is on sale inside and around St Mary’s stadium, priced at £4.
To support Chris’ efforts for the London Marathon, donate to his chosen charity - Motor Neurone Disease Association at: www.justgiving.com/christopher-perry3