SAINTS’ only January transfer window signing Vegard Forren will continue to wait for his Premier League debut.
The £3.5m capture from Norway has yet to make the bench for Saints since arriving, and is unlikely to be included at Wigan Athletic this afternoon either.
Boss Mauricio Pochettino has revealed Forren is still serving what he calls “an adaptation” process at St Mary’s.
With the Norwegian League season running at different times to the English one, Forren’s last league game for Molde was way back on November 18.
His last competitive match was on December 8, a Europa League game against Stuttgart.
That was just two days before Adam Lallana picked up his injury against Reading, though, and the skipper was back at Old Trafford in midweek.
Forren joined Saints last month after coming off his post-season holidays.
As such, he needs not only to bed into a new dressing room and footballing culture but also get up to speed fitness wise.
Effectively, he is having his own mini pre-season so he can take the pace of the Premier League.
Pochettino hasn’t set a timescale on whether Forren will be considered ready to play in a day, a week or a month.
But he did confirm: “Forren is still going through an adaptation period and an integration period.
“He basically arrived at the team after being away on holidays so he needs to go through that process in order to be able to play.
“Nonetheless, later on he will have to earn his place because there are other players who are playing very well so he will have to earn his spot.”
Pochettino this afternoon leads his team to face Wigan in a crunch relegation six-pointer at the DW Stadium.
He is keen to take the pressure off of the result, though.
“All games have their complexity, all games have their difficulty,” he said when asked about its importance.
“But in any game where you have the chance of getting the three points we have to go in with that mentality and go for the win.”
Saints at least go into the match at the DW Stadium on the back of an encouraging performance at Manchester United, even if they did lose 2-1 on Wednesday.
“We have seen that Manchester United playing at home is a team that plays very good football and we felt that we had a chance to press up there to destroy their creativity,” explained Pochettino.
“Especially cancelling out the channels that would lead to passes into Rooney, Welbeck or Van Persie.
“We controlled them well but we just weren’t able to win the game or get a draw.
“But I’m proud of how the team played in the second half and how we dominated during many periods of the game.”