Southampton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg has said the side will not deviate from their usual style of play when they face title favourites Arsenal on Boxing Day, despite their alarming form of late.
The Saints have only managed to pick up one point from their last five league games but the Dutch goalkeeper feels the side has played well in patches, and he seems confident they can cause the Gunners problems by just playing their football.
He is quoted in the Daily Echo, saying: “Everybody expects Arsenal to win but it’s about us and how we can beat Arsenal is by playing our football. That’s the reason why we got higher last year. We play well still in phases.
“If you come 2-0 behind just before half time, you play well, but 2-0 down is it’s a bad feeling.
“We have to avoid that, defensively do better and work more as a team.”
It seems to be an indication that the Saints are going to try to use their underdogs tag to their advantage, but feel they cannot afford another spell in the game like they had against Spurs - which he referenced - where the side conceded two quick-fire goals and the game was beyond them.
By contrast, Arsenal have won each of their last four games, including a potentially pivotal win against Manchester City on Monday night to enhance their title credentials.
Last season the Saints managed to get the better of Arsenal twice - once in the league and once in the League Cup - so they should not feel as if they cannot get anything from the game, and they need a huge boost in confidence.
Stekelenburg feels they still play well in phases, but they need to make them count and make the phases a little longer.