Jose Fonte insists Saints can handle the pressure of this afternoon’s crunch clash with Reading.

Both teams won automatic promotion from the Championship last season but find themselves in the Premier League’s bottom three going into the game at St Mary’s.

It’s a huge match for both clubs but Portuguese centre half Fonte, left, is in upbeat mood.

“It is a massive game for both of us. We are aware of the pressure.

“It is going to be an energetic game, tough for both of us, but we look forward to it.

“We have been preparing ourselves very well this week and we have our game plan and we will try and win the game on Saturday.

“It is a lot of pressure [in these kind of games]. You have to try and stay calm and know your game plan well, know your job.

“You know what you have to do and as a team, work hard to get the better of them. It is as simple as that.”

Sometimes the quality of football can be sacrificed in such high-pressured matches, but that is not something Fonte expects from Saints.

“The attitude has to be 100 percent but our philosophy is to play attractive football, to play a passing game,” he said.

“That’s what we've been doing for the last three years. We have to do continue that. That’s what we train every week to do.

Full story in today's Daily Echo