I want monks not Saints, says coach

HEAD coach Mark Wotte has told his players they need to live like monks rather than Saints as they battle against relegation.

Derek Davis

HEAD coach Mark Wotte has told his players they need to live like monks rather than Saints as they battle against relegation.

The Saints head coach wants his stars to forget all outside distractions and concentrate fully on a run of five games in a fortnight that are absolutely crucial if Saints are to avoid relegation.

That run started with victory over Cardiff at St Mary's and continues tonight when Saints face Ipswich Town at Portman Road.

That is followed by a game at Birmingham and then back-to-back home matches against Derby and QPR.

Wotte demanded: “They have to really live like monks - they have to sleep in the kitchen and drink only water and very good other liquids and have proper food.

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"I tell the players to send their wives to a resort and have a very good sleep.

"They must focus only on football."

Wotte's upbeat and jovial mood rather reflects the growing confidence in the Saints camp after two home victories in a row.

But Wotte insists his side must stay grounded as they remain mired deep in relegation trouble.

"The confidence has grown and the boys are coming in with happy faces but I am always a little bit concerned after two wins that we have to get everybody back on their toes and switched on for Ipswich away," said Wotte.

"It's a massive game for us, a very important game, and it will be very difficult for us.

"I don't want to talk about these last two wins any more but focus on Ipswich.

"Whatever is in the past is in the past, all that counts is the present and the future.

"The present is Ipswich away which is a very difficult game for us but we have beaten other teams away and we can do the job again if everybody is 100 per cent focussed.

"We can't get carried away because we did a good job in the last home games but this will be a totally different game. We have to approach it like a cup final."

He added: "We are focussing only on our team and the boys have to recover quickly after Saturday's 100 per cent effort.

"They are being treated very well by the medical staff and the physical staff and the psychological is very important so that everybody comes down from the clouds to get their feet on the ground.

"We need to remember we are still number 22 in the league and we need to fight to survive.

"Don't let anybody think after two wins we are safe - we not safe. Not at all.

"We need a lot of wins to survive.

"We have to start all over again after the results of the weekend and put pressure on the team above us so we need to pick up points."

Southampton are likely to field an unchanged side from the one that beat Cardiff on Saturday even though he has midfielder paul Wotton back from injury..