EVERY word Southampton manager Russell Martin said ahead of the Championship playoff semi-final first leg at West Brom.

How are you feeling? Two massive games, then we can worry about the third?

RM: Yeah, I'm feeling good, thank you. It's been a really good week of training. The sun is shining, it makes everyone a bit happier, and everything a bit easier.

I've really enjoyed the work the players have put in, I've enjoyed the feeling, and there is lots to look forward to and lots to be done.

There is lots of work still to be done and it's a big test on Sunday but I think one we are really ready for.

We spoke to Jack Stephens yesterday and he felt that Saturday's win at Leeds was a perfect warm-up for Sunday. Is that how you feel as well?

RM: I think it was a really good performance. I think there's still loads to work on.

We played against a really good team who'd only lost one game at home all season, and the guys went there and it looked like us, and that's the challenge for us.

To be the team we want to be, always, wherever we go, and Sunday is no different, away from home. I think the guys have been great.

We try not to change our approach, we try to adapt and tweak, but without losing the principle of who we are and who we want to be, and the guys delivered that so well on Saturday.

I was really proud of them and grateful to them for what they did because we had a tough week the week before but they worked like beasts in training.

It showed on the pitch on Saturday, and they've done the same again this week, and they'll have to transfer it again on Sunday, when they step over the white line.

Is aggressiveness a huge factor over these two games now, to just impose yourselves on West Brom?

RM: I think the team is judged on two things, the courage it shows, always to want the ball, to take the ball, the players on the pitch, the team that starts, the team that finishes, and then the intensity and aggression that we show.

For the three games before that, there wasn't enough, with the ball or without it, and then in Leeds, there was aggression and intensity and abundance, and we need to keep building that.

I think there's still more to come with that, but I enjoyed that side of the performance.

How much has Saturday's performance influenced your team selection for this Sunday?

RM: Well, I think we have to be logical, but we have to go with feeling as well, so logic and feeling are really important.

If you have one without the other, I don't think it's good. So, the feeling is what we have after Saturday, and how the guys did. 

The logic is that we played against West Brom twice, we did certain things in both games, a shape that was different to the one we played at Leeds.

It's a bit of both really. So, we worked on a few things this week, in training, we will continue to work on those, and be ready for whatever situation we are in in the game.

Whatever the shape, whoever plays, the team needs to look the same, as it has done for so much of this season, and it needs to go there with the same mentalities we always have.

I'm not concerned about who plays, we have a talented squad, I'm not concerned about the shape, I'm concerned about picking the right one, and hopefully we will do that.

How good are West Brom? Their home record is as strong as yours, how tough are they to play against?

RM: Yeah, they've been good, they've been really, really good. So, everyone spoke about the top four, and how difficult that race was.

Then they've been the best all season of the rest of the league. They've given us two really tough games.

Carlos Corberan I think is a brilliant coach, they have experienced Premier League players, really experienced Championship players, physical, strong, powerful, and are well coached.

They can do both sides of the game well, with or without it. So, it's a tough game but if you get into the playoffs, I don't think you expect anything else.

It's going to be a tough game, a tough place to go. We played brilliantly there this season, and if we can reach those levels of performance again, I'll be very happy.

How has Ross Stewart's development been over this week? Last Saturday would have been massive for him, so how's this week been?

RM: It's been great. He looks really good, he's ready to play and impact us more, and have more minutes for sure, over the next couple of games.

It's been a really important week for Ross to get on the pitch, he played really well when he came on. To train how he has done, he looks in great shape.

It's just match minutes that he lacks, it's not training time, he's been training for a while with us. But he's constantly prodding me, he wants to play and he constantly reminds us of that.

He wants to play and he wants to impact it, and I'm pretty sure over the next couple of games he'll have a big impact. Thank you.

How is Che Adams after coming off last weekend? 

RM: It was more precaution than anything, so we have to manage him through this week a little bit.

We'll still manage him through the next couple of days, and then hopefully he'll be ready to impact us on the pitch on Sunday."