Date: 25th January 2016 at 7:13pm
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Head coach Tony Pulis has praised the side for picking up a point against Aston Villa at the weekend.

Playing out a boreless draw with our local rivals, in a game where Albion failed to get a shot on target, Pulis was focusing on the positives after the match but did seem more focused on digging at our visitors than he was at Albion’s woeful display on the day.

Hailing the fighting spirit and attitude of the players to dig in during a game that Villa will be wondering how they didn’t win, the Birmingham Mail have the gaffer from his post game interviews as saying.

‘Going forward we were disappointing and could not get things together or going. That’s not just one of the players that’s all of the players collectively. That was a disappointment, but when things are not going well you need your players to work and work and that’s what they’ve done – they’ve worked their socks off. We’ve ground a result out and at times you need to do that. We’ve had eight games in four weeks, the last three of them have been away from home. We looked a little bit tired. It was competitive, but we’re disappointed in respect of what we did going forward.’

As for his comments about the visitors, he’s quoted as saying.

‘Villa have got £84m worth of talent and they’re not bad. They have got some good players, but we’ve now taken four points off them. We’ve now played Villa twice and they’ve not scored a goal against us. We weren’t at our best but, as a manager, if someone had told me at the start of the season that they would spend that much money and we’d be that far ahead of them at this stage of the season, I’d have been turning somersaults.’

I know exactly what Pulis is doing in those quotes, but it still doesn’t sit right. We shouldn’t be judging our own possible success by a side struggling, who haven’t gelled and undoubtedly lost their best players over the summer.

We are a side capable of not losing games – but not winning many – and not being that great on the eye and Pulis style discussions certainly won’t go away whilst we’re serving that up.

No shots on target against Villa, one on target against Bristol City, back to zero for Southampton.

How about we try and address it and not just be snippy and sarcastic in an effort to ignore it.

Pulis also explained that a risk was took with skipper Darren Fletcher following his knee injury, but thankfully it worked out.

‘I took a chance with Fletch. He’s got a knee ligament injury and one or two others were carrying. He was fantastic second half, I think it took him a while to get going.’

Going back to the game overall, he added.

‘Defensively we were pretty solid. As a group, defensively we were very good. I said to them afterwards I was really pleased with them because we weren’t at our best and we never lost. But I don’t think there was a spark. Sessegnon even, whose played exceptionally well for us and been a shining light for us. Our front players, we need a little bit more off them and going forward we didn’t get that.’

The club are also keeping tabs on Salomon Rondon with fears of fatigue hitting the player with his recent performances well in the eye as well. Pulis confirmed we had explored blood tests to examine him fully to try and solve the matter.

‘He’s had some blood tests this weekend just to test him because the lad feels tired. We’ll check on him, see where he is and he might need a couple of weeks off. It’s a different type of football he’s playing week in week out. It’s so hard and so tough. He needs this season to get his feet on the ground and get used to it. He’s got real quality and real talent and he does; t go out there not to run. If you look at his running stats, they’re excellent. So he goes out there and does work hard.’

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