Fonte: Dejan is the reason for our defensive stability

Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren

First published in Sport Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Sports Reporter

José Fonte has praised the influence of summer signing Dejan Lovren after an outstanding start to the season for the Saints defence.

Four games into the Premier League campaign, the team has conceded just two goals, which is in stark contrast to how they began the last campaign, when they had leaked 14 by the same stage.

Lovren, an £8.5m capture from Lyon, appears to have already formed an impressive partnership with Fonte in the heart of defence and, with notable strength in the full-back positions and keeper Artur Boruc again proving solid, Saints have what looks to be a very stable base to their team.

“We’re very pleased, obviously. It was an issue last year,” acknowledged Fonte.

“We’ve got two clean sheets this season, which is very good for us, and it gives us confidence and more belief to keep working hard, as we’ve been doing.

“It’s positive, so we want to keep going with the clean sheets.”

Fonte, right, believes the arrival of Croatian international Lovren has been a major factor in the success of the defence so far this season.

“He’s a great player first of all, and when you have a great player next to you it’s easier to play,” said the Portuguese centre-half, whose partnership with Lovren should be given its sternest test of the season so far when Saints visit league leaders Liverpool on Saturday.

“I feel confident with him, we understand each other well. It’s always going to get better, because we’re still getting to know each other, but from the first moment I had a good understanding with him.

“I know more or less what he’s going to do in each situation, and he knows what I’m going to do, so at the moment we’re in a very good place and I hope this partnership keeps developing and improving.”

For Fonte, the start to the season has been particularly satisfying.

The 29-year-old had been an ever present in the league last term up to the point when he suffered a nasty knee injury in an FA Cup clash with Chelsea in early January.

That sidelined him for seven weeks and, by the time he returned to fitness, Nigel Adkins had been sacked and Mauricio Pochettino had been appointed as the club’s new manager.

Fonte would start just five more games before the season finished, but he has now emerged as Pochettino’s favoured choice to partner Lovren.

“I’m pleased, because I believe in myself,” he said. “I got injured against Chelsea when I was the only player who played every single game and was out of the team for eight games.

“When you come back the players have been doing well, we won a few games against Man City and good teams, and it’s normal the manager keeps playing with the same team.

“I waited for my chance, I played the last few games of the season, I did well, I had a great pre-season and I worked very hard, and the manager put his trust in me and I just want to pay it off, play well for the manager and the team.”

Comments (8)

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8:24am Wed 18 Sep 13

JohnItaly says...

First real test coming up this Saturday against Liverpool. Come away with a clean sheet and that really will be worth shouting about - if nothing else it means we will have a point at least!
First real test coming up this Saturday against Liverpool. Come away with a clean sheet and that really will be worth shouting about - if nothing else it means we will have a point at least! JohnItaly
  • Score: 17

9:03am Wed 18 Sep 13

Clever Dick says...

If only our other big money signings had settled in so well!
If only our other big money signings had settled in so well! Clever Dick
  • Score: -11

9:11am Wed 18 Sep 13

Jesus_02 says...

Clever Dick wrote:
If only our other big money signings had settled in so well!
I have my fingers crossed for a MOTM performance from Victor. He will improve and when he does i have a feeling that everything will click.
[quote][p][bold]Clever Dick[/bold] wrote: If only our other big money signings had settled in so well![/p][/quote]I have my fingers crossed for a MOTM performance from Victor. He will improve and when he does i have a feeling that everything will click. Jesus_02
  • Score: 17

9:49am Wed 18 Sep 13

There's only one 'H' in 'Ampshire says...

I think Jose has improved dramatically this season - he looks like he did when we gained promotion from League 1, only we're playing against better attackers now (West Hoof aside obviously)
I think Jose has improved dramatically this season - he looks like he did when we gained promotion from League 1, only we're playing against better attackers now (West Hoof aside obviously) There's only one 'H' in 'Ampshire
  • Score: 5

10:02am Wed 18 Sep 13

Saintsayer II says...

I want to see if Yoshida gets on the bench instead of Hoover this week That should tell us a bit more about the pecking order for the centre backs When Jose was out last season we all expected Forren to get a game but he stuck with Hoover and Yoshida and at the end Hoover and Fonte
I want to see if Yoshida gets on the bench instead of Hoover this week That should tell us a bit more about the pecking order for the centre backs When Jose was out last season we all expected Forren to get a game but he stuck with Hoover and Yoshida and at the end Hoover and Fonte Saintsayer II
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Wed 18 Sep 13

hedge end bob says...

Clever Dick wrote:
If only our other big money signings had settled in so well!
Dejan has certainly been worth the fee, Rameriz has still imo, needs to improve his game. Victor has only had a few games and Osvaldo even less. They have all showed us their lockers have some goodies in them, they just need time to get adjusted to the EPL.
[quote][p][bold]Clever Dick[/bold] wrote: If only our other big money signings had settled in so well![/p][/quote]Dejan has certainly been worth the fee, Rameriz has still imo, needs to improve his game. Victor has only had a few games and Osvaldo even less. They have all showed us their lockers have some goodies in them, they just need time to get adjusted to the EPL. hedge end bob
  • Score: 9

7:22pm Wed 18 Sep 13

Galapagos Saint says...

Lovin Lovren...been my player of the season so far. Hasnt put a foot wrong and dominates all opponents in the air and on the ground. Reminds me of a young Vidic or better still...Ken Monkou or Dean Richards. But I am biased as I am a fully paid up member of the Centre Half Union. Being 6'4" Ive played there all my life. But being 35 years old, I think this will be my last season. The bones are starting to creak and the ever-growing beer gut means the shorts no longer fit me!
Lovin Lovren...been my player of the season so far. Hasnt put a foot wrong and dominates all opponents in the air and on the ground. Reminds me of a young Vidic or better still...Ken Monkou or Dean Richards. But I am biased as I am a fully paid up member of the Centre Half Union. Being 6'4" Ive played there all my life. But being 35 years old, I think this will be my last season. The bones are starting to creak and the ever-growing beer gut means the shorts no longer fit me! Galapagos Saint
  • Score: 2

7:23pm Wed 18 Sep 13

Galapagos Saint says...

Lovin Lovren...been my player of the season so far. Hasnt put a foot wrong and dominates all opponents in the air and on the ground. Reminds me of a young Vidic or better still...Ken Monkou or Dean Richards. But I am biased as I am a fully paid up member of the Centre Half Union. Being 6'4" Ive played there all my life. But being 35 years old, I think this will be my last season. The bones are starting to creak and the ever-growing beer gut means the shorts no longer fit me!
Lovin Lovren...been my player of the season so far. Hasnt put a foot wrong and dominates all opponents in the air and on the ground. Reminds me of a young Vidic or better still...Ken Monkou or Dean Richards. But I am biased as I am a fully paid up member of the Centre Half Union. Being 6'4" Ive played there all my life. But being 35 years old, I think this will be my last season. The bones are starting to creak and the ever-growing beer gut means the shorts no longer fit me! Galapagos Saint
  • Score: -1

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