AFC Bournemouth will be the next opposition for Mark Hughes' Southampton side, who are facing a fierce and battling task of staying in the top-flight of English football, and midfielder Oriol Romeu has called on the club's fans to rally their support behind the squad going into the final few weeks of the 2017/18 campaign.
The fan favourite 26 year-old has featured in 30 of the Saints' Premier League games this season; of the 34 in total that the team has played, only five have ended in victories for the south coast outfit.
Romeu, formerly of Chelsea, is looked upon as one of the leaders in the Southampton side and supporters are desperately crying for someone within the ranks to take charge going into the last four matches.
The Saints are still to face fellow relegation candidate Swansea City and consolidated Everton on the road, before a terrifying final league game at home to champions Manchester City, but beforehand, Hughes manages his players for a home encounter over nearby rivals AFC Bournemouth and Oriol Romeu is looking to the stands for the three points this weekend.
“It’s the most important game of the season''
Whilst Southampton cannot mathematically be relegated in the next round of Premier League fixtures, a defeat at home to Eddie Howe's Cherries could all but confirm their drop to the Championship with four points separating themselves and safety.
Oriol Romeu, who has racked up 117 appearances as a red and white player, is eager to see his team-mates connect with the fans ahead of kick-off on Saturday; “It’s important that we get that connection between us and the fans, so we can push onto together and get the points we need.”
The Saints were only able to pick up the one point in the reverse fixture earlier this season but the hard-tackling holding midfielder does not want to his fellow players to focus on the opponent, and more on the task at hand; ''Every one of them is important for us to stay up. We want to give everything. We don’t want to look to the past and say we’ve left something in the dressing room.''
“We are trying to get more solid, to be more consistent''
Since the appointment of Mark Hughes following Mauricio Pellegrino's much-deserved dismissal, supporters have seen a dramatic change in tactics with a more defensive shape to the starting eleven - predominantly deploying five at the back.
However, that has meant certain players are being dropped and one in particular is skilful attacker Sofiane Boufal.
The Moroccan hasn't featured in any of Southampton's last four outings, including the league and FA Cup fixtures against Chelsea. There is seemingly hints that the winger is heading out the exit of St. Mary's this summer, despite being potentially one of the club's most valuable assets.
Meanwhile, Oriol Romeu has backed up his manager in the need to shake up things at the back to lead to a considerably more steady back line; “It’s been working quite well. We conceded goals against Arsenal and Chelsea but we were competing against them, having a better feeling.''
“We were conceding too many goals before, that’s the why the manager changed it so we had more defenders.''