Monday 22 January 2018

Puel wary of extra Payet focus

Yaya Toure
Yaya Toure

Manager Claude Puel has warned his Southampton side not to let themselves be distracted by trying to keep West Ham playmaker Dimitri Payet quiet when they head to the London Stadium tomorrow.

France international Payet scored a 25-yard free-kick in injury time to see off the challenge of Accrington Stanley in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night.

Accrington boss John Coleman felt Payet's set-piece ability makes him just as dangerous from a dead ball around the box as he would be from the penalty spot.

Puel, though, believes concentrating on delivering their own required performance will be key if Southampton are to record what would be a fourth consecutive win in all competitions.

"It [a free-kick from Payet] would be a good opportunity for them, and of course defending is important, but we must also concentrate on all the many good things we do on the pitch," the Southampton manager said.

"He [Payet] is a very good player on the free-kicks, but our players also have many qualities and it will be difficult for West Ham to defend these players.

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