van Dijk relishing Bournemouth atmosphere

By SFC Media time Fri 30 Oct Club

Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk says he would relish playing in a derby-style atmosphere during Sunday’s game against Bournemouth.

The centre-back has highlighted this weekend’s contest with Saints’ south coast neighbours as one the hosts need to win, as they look to build on a six-match unbeaten run across all competitions.

Van Dijk, who played in an Old Firm derby during his time with Celtic, would welcome a raucous atmosphere at St Mary’s, but says it would not affect his concentration on the job at hand.

"It's easy to say, but I think once the game has started you just shut yourself off and focus on your teammates and winning," he told reporters ahead of the game.

"For me, personally, it's not that difficult and I enjoy it really to have a lot of noise and atmosphere in the stadium anyway.

"I'm very proud I've played in the famous derby in Scotland of course. For us, Sunday, you just want to win the game and it's important to win the game as well."

Van Dijk added: "It's just another Premier League game I think.

"We just need to approach it very good and get ready for everything what's going to happen. We need to win this game I think.

"It's an important game for us to get the three points and move further and I think for the upcoming games as well we can extend this run with the upcoming games we have."

Saints are unbeaten away from home in the Premier League this season, but have lost twice at St Mary’s – to Everton and Manchester United – while their last match there also ended in disappointment, as they let a two-goal lead slip in a 2-2 draw with Leicester.

Van Dijk is hoping this weekend will see an improvement in that regard.

"We want to do much better than we did last game at home against Leicester – control the game 90 minutes and win the game," he said.

Van Dijk is also targeting a clean sheet, after a run of five league matches without one.

"I want to keep clean sheets now as well, instead of winning and still conceding," he said.

"There's still a lot to improve and I'm aware of that and I want to get the maximum out of myself and out of my team, so we work hard every day and at the end of the day it's all about winning and progressing as a team."