Fonte aims to keep Saints the best

Daily Echo: Jose Fonte and Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford last week. Jose Fonte and Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford last week.

Saints currently own the best defensive record in the Premier League – and José Fonte wants to make sure they still possess it at the end of the season.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side have kept five clean sheets in their opening eight matches, and have conceded just three goals, which is two less than anyone else in the top flight.

Fonte says the entire team is proud of holding the status of being the division’s meanest defence and insists they have no intention of relinquishing it.

“We know how hard it is going to be, but we are ready for it,” said the centre half.

“We are proud to have the best defence in the league and will try to keep it until the end of the season, make no mistake.

“We will try and keep clean sheets and be hard to beat. That is all we can do – try as hard as we can.

“We know there are great strikers and great teams that will score goals against us, but we will be giving our best to keep this record and keep the best defence in the league.”

Saints’ defensive record this term is in stark contrast to the one they had at this stage last season, when they had already conceded 24 goals.

“Last year we were under a lot of criticism, fair criticism most of the time, as we conceded a lot of goals, but the fact is we worked hard, improved and the results are there to see,” said Fonte.

The 29-year-old added: “It has been very pleasing to be in this kind of form after hearing the critics last year and to now hear the people saying good stuff about us, but we know it is only eight games and only the start of the season.

“We know how hard this league is and we know the hard task we have ahead. “We will be trying to keep this momentum and this form going, but we know it will be hard and we have to go game by game. “Against Fulham we will try and get another clean sheet and go from there.”

Fonte says there are a number of different factors in the club’s improvement defensively.

“The manager makes us work extremely hard during the week, we are fit and I feel fit like I have never felt before,” he said.

“Tactically he is very good. He tries to position and anticipate everything and to give us every information that we need to be in good shape. “Dejan (Lovren) has been fantastic since he came in and been a good help. The two centre mids have also given us great protection in front of the back four. “The strikers pressing so high up the pitch and getting the ball so high is very good and gives us a lot of breathing space. These facts have been the major factor in us conceding so few goals.”

Fonte says he rates Lovren, an £8.5m summer signing from Lyon and his partner at the heart of Saints’ defence, as “one of the best centre backs in the league”.

Asked what it is that makes their partnership work so well, Fonte said: “It is instinct. The way we think. We think a little bit the same way.

“I know what he is going to do most of the time and he knows what I am going to do in certain situations. “He is a very hard-working player. He understands the centre back’s job.

“We have to protect one another and we have been doing that well.

“He has been good and I just hope we can improve as we haven’t achieved anything. We had a few clean sheets, but there is a long way to go and things can change.

“We need to keep working as hard as possible, improve, as in a few games we have made a few mistakes that we weren’t happy with and we identified that.

“We want to improve and be better players and a better pairing.”

Morgan Schneiderlin poster in today's Daily Echo

Comments (7)

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8:21am Sat 26 Oct 13

Buddy SFC says...

Top, Top player .......... Surprised ne wasn't one of the two Centre Half's more of last year , Dejan as help him develop in a big way .............

Top quality winger in the Jan Window ??????
Top, Top player .......... Surprised ne wasn't one of the two Centre Half's more of last year , Dejan as help him develop in a big way ............. Top quality winger in the Jan Window ?????? Buddy SFC
  • Score: 0

8:25am Sat 26 Oct 13

notaclue says...

Jose so proud of you - stepping down a division to join us in league one and bossing it ever since! Now doing an incredible job in the BP, you work hard for the team your a top bloke!
Jose so proud of you - stepping down a division to join us in league one and bossing it ever since! Now doing an incredible job in the BP, you work hard for the team your a top bloke! notaclue
  • Score: 3

9:21am Sat 26 Oct 13

Clever Dick says...

Currently Jose and Dejan are proving to be even better than Killer and Claus. Long may it continue and well done. Next three games could really set us up for the season.
Currently Jose and Dejan are proving to be even better than Killer and Claus. Long may it continue and well done. Next three games could really set us up for the season. Clever Dick
  • Score: 3

9:45am Sat 26 Oct 13

damoose says...

This will be a tough game.they play 3 up top counter-attack similar to Norwich and WBA versus our high-line offside trap pressing game...these are the type of systems we struggle to break down 1-0 will do me
This will be a tough game.they play 3 up top counter-attack similar to Norwich and WBA versus our high-line offside trap pressing game...these are the type of systems we struggle to break down 1-0 will do me damoose
  • Score: 0

9:57am Sat 26 Oct 13

dadofmy3sons says...

This begs the question, why did the rumour of Davide Astori raise it's head?
We currently have two extremely good players playing at their top and another, Yoshi, waiting for a chance. With Jos thinking he has done nothing wrong and putting in some good games at U21.
Competition for this position is good and if we get another player who must be considered a first choice, will that weaken us in that those players might well think they won't get a game?
As to the left back position, young Targett is another exciting prospect.
Right back is covered.
Midfield is well covered.
Attack needs to be revitalised. We need to get all our strikers scoring.
We all post about the improvement in defence, this has brought about a slow deceleration in our scoring as all players are more aware of the importance of ball retention. Someone needs to start taking responsibility of scoring.
Not necesarily a purchase is needed, but if we were to strengthen there then it would need to be somebody who will come and fire off straight away, not a prospect.
This begs the question, why did the rumour of Davide Astori raise it's head? We currently have two extremely good players playing at their top and another, Yoshi, waiting for a chance. With Jos thinking he has done nothing wrong and putting in some good games at U21. Competition for this position is good and if we get another player who must be considered a first choice, will that weaken us in that those players might well think they won't get a game? As to the left back position, young Targett is another exciting prospect. Right back is covered. Midfield is well covered. Attack needs to be revitalised. We need to get all our strikers scoring. We all post about the improvement in defence, this has brought about a slow deceleration in our scoring as all players are more aware of the importance of ball retention. Someone needs to start taking responsibility of scoring. Not necesarily a purchase is needed, but if we were to strengthen there then it would need to be somebody who will come and fire off straight away, not a prospect. dadofmy3sons
  • Score: 0

10:17am Sat 26 Oct 13

Positively4thStreet says...

notaclue wrote:
Jose so proud of you - stepping down a division to join us in league one and bossing it ever since! Now doing an incredible job in the BP, you work hard for the team your a top bloke!
Absolutely bang on!Just shows what he must have seen in Saints to have done that in the first place,and has shown absolute loyalty to the cause ever since.Fully deserves to to stand alongside all the other Saints legends.
[quote][p][bold]notaclue[/bold] wrote: Jose so proud of you - stepping down a division to join us in league one and bossing it ever since! Now doing an incredible job in the BP, you work hard for the team your a top bloke![/p][/quote]Absolutely bang on!Just shows what he must have seen in Saints to have done that in the first place,and has shown absolute loyalty to the cause ever since.Fully deserves to to stand alongside all the other Saints legends. Positively4thStreet
  • Score: 1

11:48am Sat 26 Oct 13

Lat Te Mis says...

He deserves all the credit he gets at the moment, solid in defence and going up for corners worrying oppostion.
Something completely different, does anyone know the Pochettino's song.. We sit at Itchen North and very cloe to the away end, but just can't quite get it.
No WUM's please, just an honest request.

2:1 to Saints today!!

RAWA
He deserves all the credit he gets at the moment, solid in defence and going up for corners worrying oppostion. Something completely different, does anyone know the Pochettino's song.. We sit at Itchen North and very cloe to the away end, but just can't quite get it. No WUM's please, just an honest request. 2:1 to Saints today!! RAWA Lat Te Mis
  • Score: 2

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