Russell Martin sends Mason Holgate and Jack Stephens message as Jan Bednarek point made

Over the summer, Southampton signed Mason Holgate on a season-long loan from Everton, however he has only made three Championship appearances for Russell Martin’s team.

Russell Martin believes Mason Holgate and Jack Stephens will put pressure on the other Southampton defenders and earn a starting berth.

Holgate joined Southampton on loan from Everton this summer but has battled for form. His debut came in a 5-0 defeat at Sunderland before being hooked at half-time in his second start, a 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough.


Southampton’s other center-back possibilities include captain Jack Stephens, who is presently sidelined, as well as current first-teamers Jan Bednarek and Taylor Harwood-Bellis.

After suffering a minor knock, the latter has been cleared to play against Hull City this weekend, with Martin pleased with how his two starting central defenders are collaborating.

“I think he (Harwood-Bellis) and Janny (Bednarek) are enjoying playing together,” Saints manager Mark Hughes said to reporters on Friday morning. “They are constantly learning about each other’s games and what is required.” They have a lot of input and discussions.”

Martin stated that it was now up to Holgate and Stephens to fight their way back into contention when the captain returns from injury, with Bednarek and Harwood-Bellis currently holding the shirts.


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“The rest of the defenders, even the ones who aren’t involved, will sit in on the unit meetings,” he added. “We go through clips, they have feedback and they talk to each other.


“I’ve really enjoyed watching Janny mature over the last four or five games in terms of how he’s trained and played, as well as the amount of courage he’s shown with the ball.”

“There has been a significant difference since the beginning of the season.” He’s been fantastic, and I’m quite delighted with both of them. Now it’s up to Mason and Jack to start putting pressure on them, because we’re going to need everyone. Hopefully, there will come a day where if we need someone else in there, they will be able to do so as well.”

Southampton’s game against Hull City on Saturday is the first of three in a week, with matches against Preston North End and Birmingham City following. Martin is fully aware that he will need his entire team to handle with the rapid turnaround in games, but his first problem will be to choose the correct XI to inflict the Tigers’ first home defeat of the season.

“You have a team in your mind when you analyse Hull that you think will be the best one,” he remarked. “Then you have to go by how the players are feeling in terms of energy.” When they return, you glance at them and their body language to see how their time away was. All of that has to be considered.

“I hope you don’t end up too far away from the team you’ve been imagining for the last few weeks.” We’ll just have to wait and see.”




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