Russell Martin reveal special plans for Southampton star

After defeating West Brom on Saturday, Southampton is on an eight-game winning streak in the Championship and will enter the November international break ranked fourth in the standings.

During the international break, Ross Stewart, the striker for Southampton, will continue to improve his fitness in a practice match, according to manager Russell Martin.

The 27-year-old striker was warmly welcomed by the St Mary’s crowd as he made his Saints debut during the team’s 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion last weekend. He came off the bench in the second half.

Following a terrible Achilles tendon injury he sustained while playing for his former club Sunderland, it was Stewart’s first competitive appearance since January. Martin and the Southampton coaching team are closely monitoring Stewart’s recuperation following his move to the south coast in September.

Asked after the Saints’ win over the Baggies what the plan for Stewart was now that the November international break is here, Martin said: “We have a practice match this week where he can get even more minutes in to prepare himself further.”

“I thought he did great when he came on. I would have liked him to keep it in the corner for a little bit longer rather than decide to turn back,” Martin added with a grin. “The lads applauded him in the dressing room after the game. The reaction from the crowd was great.

“It’s been a long road for him to get to this point and I’m really proud of him. He is such a brilliant lad. Now it’s our job to get him as fit and ready as possible and keep building up those minutes to get him into the team – which isn’t going to be easy for him at the moment.

“He is more than prepared for the issue at hand since he is aware of it. I’m excited to watch him develop stronger and more fit.


EXCLUSIVE: Southampton shelve interest in Sunderland striker Ross Stewart -  Sports Illustrated Sunderland Nation


After defeating the Baggies, the Saints are now placed fourth in the Championship with 30 points, and they will go into the November break having won eight straight games.

At St Mary’s, Will Smallbone had started the score with a close-range shot, but Kyle Bartley’s goal in the second half gave Carlos Corberan’s team a response.

Then, Darnell Furlong headed a header against the crossbar, but Adam Armstrong was able to grab the late winner at the opposite end, and Saints were also grateful to Gavin Bazunu for their three points after his last-minute stop deep into added time.

“It was a different win to those we’ve had previously,” added Martin. “I just said to the players it was built on character, spirit and togetherness. The energy from the crowd was amazing as well. It was that rather than dominance and control.

“They are one of the best teams we’ve played. I have so much respect for Carlos [Corberan]. They make it seriously difficult for you. They have a lot of power and athleticism. In the second half, the momentum swung and we were too untidy on the ball. Their goal was coming, but we weren’t good enough in that period.”




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