Southampton V Newcastle at St Marys Stadium - Match Preview
Updated Saturday, 24th November 2012
Southampton V Newcastle at St Marys Stadium - Match Preview.
Clyne wants to keep improving
Nathaniel Clyne is enjoying life at Southampton and has "no regrets" about turning down a summer move to Sunday's opponents Newcastle.
The 21-year-old came through the Crystal Palace Academy and quickly became one of the most talked about prospects in the Football League.
Manchester United, Ajax and Everton were all linked with moves for the right-back, who instead plumped for a move to newly-promoted Southampton this summer.
It is a move Clyne has enjoyed so far and has no regrets about turning down other interest, including an offer from Sunday's visitors Newcastle.
"I was close (to going there)," Clyne said. "They are a good a side but I chose Southampton because it was closer to where I live.
"It's where I preferred to come. I didn't get a chance to speak to Alan Pardew.
"Southampton just appealed to me more. They've got good facilities here, the way they play football has been good and I was promised first-choice football.
"I thought I was going to get more game time, which I have been getting, so I am pleased.
"I have no regrets about coming here. I have been playing a lot of games for the club and that's what I like.
"I didn't really want to be on the bench. I just wanted to be playing, getting game time and improving as a player."
But Clyne is not pretending life has been easy at Southampton so far.
Nigel Adkins' side are in the relegation zone after a poor start to the campaign in which their porous defence has been highlighted as a key issue.
"It is tough when you concede a lot of goals, but we're going to get better," Clyne said.
"The only way we're going to get better is learning from our mistakes. We're working hard on the training field on our defensive shape and defensive duties so it will get better.
"It has been tough. It is a lot harder than the Championship. Players are quicker, faster, stronger.
"For me, it has been a difficult challenge but I am warming to it, getting better and I just want to improve as a player. I feel like I have been improving."
Frazer Richardson and Richard Chaplow remain Southampton's only absentees for the clash with Newcastle.
Right-back Richardson is out after suffering a recurrence of a thigh injury last week, while Chaplow is also out through injury.
Guly do Prado and Artur Boruc could be involved after being left out of the squad for the games with Swansea and QPR.
Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul is convinced the north-east outfit need a change of luck to get their season back on track.
The Magpies head for Southampton with injuries and suspension once again severely limiting manager Alan Pardew's options as they attempt to improve upon a run of just one Premier League victory in seven attempts.
They will do so with dangerman Hatem Ben Arfa sitting at home alongside banned skipper Fabricio Coloccini after damaging a hamstring in Thursday night's 1-1 Europa League draw with Maritimo.
Midfielder Yohan Cabaye (groin) is also on the sidelines, while striker Shola Ameobi (groin) and midfielder Gabriel Obertan (toe) remain doubts.
However, Cheick Tiote returns after suspension, Jonas Gutierrez (knee) and James Perch (thigh) are available and striker Papiss Cisse has a chance despite picking up a kick on the thigh against Maritimo.
Ben Arfa's absence, coupled with a return of precisely no points from winnable home games against West Ham and Swansea, has left a pall hanging over St James' Park, although 24-year-old Holland international Krul is confident that situation can be remedied very quickly.
He said: "It's just a bit of luck, I honestly think so. If we could just nick that goal and go on, I think we will win games.
"I don't think we have had a lot of luck at all in the last couple of home games.
"It is a bit of a rough patch and we just have to take it as it comes. We have got Southampton on Sunday then Stoke on Wednesday night.
"They are going to be two hard games, but we need to get back to the spirit and just stick together."
Krul added: "We need a win on Sunday. We need to get back to winning ways. But I think we have got a good chance on Sunday.
"They had a good win at QPR last weekend and especially at their place, they are a hard team to beat, so we need to be on it.
"It's one win, it's one win we need and that's it, everything will turn around."