Russell Martin confirms Southampton star is fit and will play v West Brom

SAINTS manager Russell Martin has confirmed that striker Ross Stewart will play against West Brom on Saturday.

The deadline-day signing has yet to make his debut for the club after joining from Championship rivals.

Stewart, 27, made his under-21 debut last week, scoring seven minutes in against his former club’s youth team.

Stewart played 45 minutes before a full week of training in preparation for West Brom’s visit to St Mary’s, which preceded the November international break.

Speaking ahead of the match, Martin said: “He’ll be involved tomorrow. We’re excited about it and the players are excited.


Southampton: Russell Martin offers tantalising Ross Stewart update |  OneFootball


“As I have said before, the expectations early on, because of how long he’s been out, shouldn’t be too big.

“He’ll feel his way in with us and he’s not had a huge amount of time on the grass, so this is probably his first full week training with the team and understanding the technical detail.

“He has a fantastic willingness to learn and we have had to try and rein him in rather than encourage him to do extra work.

“The physios have done some fantastic work and they have been a dream to work with for us as well.”

He continued: “We’ll get him on the pitch at some point tomorrow possibly, possibly not, it depends on the state of the game.

“But to have him back in the squad and then build him up over the international break is a nice period for us to really get some work into him so he can be a big player for us moving forward.”

Martin hopes that Stewart, who stands six feet two inches tall and is physically imposing despite his speed, can give the Saints something different in their frontline.

Stewart scored 10 goals in 13 Championship games for the Black Cats before being sidelined for the majority of last season due to injury.

When asked about Stewart’s strengths, Martin stated, “He’s massive, which helps in this league.” He is first and foremost a fantastic goal scorer.”I tried to sign him at MK Dons after seeing him at Ross County, and I joked that he turned me down twice, but now we’re working together.

“He can run, he’s hungry for goals, works so hard out of possession and he has a bit of everything really. For such a big guy, he moves so well.

“His injury hasn’t affected that at all but he is just short of match minutes at the moment. He suits what we do and he is a very different option to what we have as well.

“Technically good. Athletically good. Attitude good. When you can tick all of those boxes, you give us huge value.”

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