Southampton need Nathan Redmond in form for relegation battle - Mark Hughes
Nathan Redmond could be returning to his best at just the right time, according to Southampton manager Mark Hughes.
Redmond came off the bench at half-time to give Southampton the lead at Everton on Saturday, only for the visitors to leak a late goal to leave Goodison Park with a frustrating 1-1 draw.
Southampton now face Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday night in a Premier League survival shootout, with either side able to take a giant step towards safety with victory.
Hughes believes Redmond has been suffering a crisis of confidence amid Southampton's struggles but hopes the 24-year-old is back in form at the perfect moment.
"Sometimes he was being too sure, rather than being the natural player he is, but I thought he was excellent when he came on, clearly understood what was required of him and when we made the change, that shows he is engaged and focused on what is happening on the pitch," Hughes told the Southern Daily Echo.
"I obviously had to make the decision not to start him, so he was disappointed with that, but it didn't affect his focus on the game itself because that was why he was able to make the impact he did."
Southampton must do without Maya Yoshida for their Swansea trip, with the Japan defender suspended after picking up a red card late against Everton.
Midfielder Mario Lemina could miss out, too, after injuring a hamstring, and Steven Davies continues to battle an Achilles injury.
Hughes insisted Southampton's confidence will not be dented by Saturday's draw, with Tom Davies' deflected strike denying a victory in the sixth minute of added time.
"As I said when we came through the door, we have to look at what's ahead of us. We've got a huge game very quickly and we can't feel sorry for ourselves," Hughes told Southampton's website. "I don't think we're in any way damaged by the consequences of the game in terms of confidence, so we'll be ready to go again and it's up to us to get the job done.
"We've got two games left and everybody is writing the Man City one off. We'll give that one a go as well, but clearly the Swansea one is one that we can really decide our own fate."