NATHAN Redmond insisted new recruit Takumi Minamino had “showed his quality” since his arrival at Saints and added: “We are going to need more of that.” The Japanese international made his debut for the St Mary’s side having signed on loan from Liverpool until the end of the season, late on transfer deadline day. Minamino opened his account for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men during Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to Newcastle United. He latched on to a cross from Ryan Bertrand and, after a neat first touch, blasted past keeper Karl Darlow after 30 minutes at St James’ Park. Redmond was recalled to play alongside Minamino in the northeast, the pair both completing 90 minutes.
Nathan Redmond said: “He’s settled in fine. The last couple of days in training, he’s showed his quality. He’s a really, really nice guy in terms of a human being as well. He showed his quality on Saturday with a great finish and we are going to need more of that coming forward. He provides competition in that he’s come here to play football. Myself, him, Stu Armstrong, Theo Walcott, Moussa (Djenepo), Che (Adams) and Ingsy (Danny Ings) – we have got a lot of options in the forward areas right now, especially the young lads coming through as well. It gives us a lot of options but we need to give ourselves the best chance to utilise the forward players as a unit. That includes the forward players helping to defend in games, first and foremost.”
The defeat was Saints’ fifth in a row in the Premier League. They have not picked up a point since beating Liverpool at the start of January. Asked what needed to change to stop their recent slump,
Nathon Redmond replied: “That’s something that we can only find out as players and staff while we are back at the training ground. We’ve been in tough situations before, so we are no strangers to challenges going forward. This is just a new one for us. Let’s not forget the start we’ve had this season. It’s not a bad start what we’ve had, as in previous years. It gives us a chance reflect on some of the things that we’ve done well, that put us in good stead in the early part of the season. Then we look at the things we haven’t done so well and what we can do to improve.”
Saints head to Wolves in the FA Cup on Thursday. Minamino is set to be cup-tied having already featured for Liverpool in the competition.
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