Southampton’s Cedric Soares says every game is like a cup final

Cedric Soares admitted he put pressure on himself to perform well for Southampton in his first season in the Premier League.

Southampton defender Cedric Soares has told the Daily Echo that he has treated every match like a cup final this season.

The Portugal international arrived at St. Mary’s Stadium last summer from Sporting Lisbon for a fee of €6.5 million and has settled well in his first campaign in English football.

The 24-year-old right-back has become one of the first names on the teamsheet for manager Ronald Koeman, with the regularity of the Saints’ back-four spreading confidence through the south-coast side.

Southampton enjoyed their best run of form in the New Year with five wins and a draw coinciding with the club recording six consecutive clean sheets.

Currently sitting seventh in the Premier League table, Koeman’s men remain hopeful of achieving European qualification for a second consecutive year.

Soares believes he has improved throughout his maiden season in England and admits he has been impressed by the standard of opposition at all times.

"I grow a lot as a player," he told the Daily Echo.

"It’s a lot of intensity. All the sides have amazing players, every game is like a final for us and for me also, so I feel like I’m better as a player.

"I’m settled down. I came this season, I played until now a lot of games and I feel confident and I look forward also to keep going and keep developing as a player."

He added: “I work hard every day to be in the team. I’m just here to help, so I will keep working hard to be helping Southampton.”

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