NATHAN Redmond admitted it was “a bit of a dampener” to not characterize at the start of the season but insists that Saints’ newfound squad thoroughness and competition for places is ideal, saying: “We saw last season, we need as many players as possible.”
Saints topped the Premier League table briefly during the 2020-21 campaign but the season soon began to separate due to injuries and thoroughness concerns, keeping just one clean sheet after the New Year to plummet down the standings.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side fell as low as 15th to finish, although that second half of the season was buoyed by an impressive FA Cup run that saw an eventual visit to Wembley for the semi-final.
Now, the Austrian boss is spoiled for choice in some areas after a move window that saw stars leave and be replaced by numbers and future possible.
Redmond is embroiled in a battle with the likes of returnee Moi Elyounoussi and Moussa Djenepo for minutes, while Nathan Tella and Stuart Armstrong (injury) are as of however mostly unused options.
On the competition, Redmond said: “Yeah, it’s fine. It is always going to happen and it is a good thing, because we need as many players as possible, as we saw last season.
“We had a good start and we were in a position where we were top of the league and then we just sort of fell off with a lot of injuries and relying on under-23 players and under-18 players trying to step in and be that cover on the bench, if boys couldn’t get by 90 minutes.
“It is definitely a good thing, because you could see in the cup games that we can almost field a brand new 11 to go out there and compete.”
Asked if he feels like he has the confidence to make a difference among a bigger squad, Redmond certainly thinks so.
He’s however to register a goal contribution in the Premier League this campaign, but did get a goal and an assist while playing as a sustain striker against League Two Newport County in Saints’ opening EFL Cup tie.
The 27-year-old additional: “Yeah, hopefully, it’s a bit of a dampener to not be able to have an impact right from the start of the season.
“I’ve had to wait for my time to have an opportunity and try and grab it with both hands when I can.
But it takes a associate of games to get sharpness and match ready but I feel like I’m getting there and hopefully I can help to the team to produce what we need to get the first three points.”
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