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Lallana: We fear no one
Adam Lallana says the current Saints squad is the most confident he has ever been a part of and that there is no team they fear playing.
The captain has played a key role in the club’s magnificent start to the season, as they head into the latest international break holding onto a Champions League spot.
In a little under two weeks’ time, Saints’ credentials are likely to be given their most thorough examination yet, as they visit Manchester United.
While that might appear a daunting task, Lallana insists that, under Mauricio Pochettino’s management, the team has no trepidation in visiting England’s elite sides.
“The manager is installing that in us,” he said. “He’s installing that lack of fear, especially when you go and play the top teams. You go out and enjoy it, instead of being timid.
“It’s rubbing off on all the lads. We’ll go to Old Trafford and we’re going to be confident. We’ll really look forward to that.”
Lallana added: “We’re picking up momentum. (We’ve got) a nice couple of weeks of training for the lads that have not got internationals, then we’ll go to Old Trafford and look for the win.”
Saints went close to a victory there last term, losing 2-1 in January, but then-manager Sir Alex Ferguson said that, on their second-half performance that night, they had been the best side United had faced at home all season.
With comments like that now coupled with their superb start to the current campaign, it is little wonder Lallana is so bullish.
Despite the academy graduate, who is now 25, having been involved in two promotion-winning campaigns in recent years, he has no hesitation in saying that the level of confidence among the Saints players now is higher than it has ever been.
“This is the most confident, best squad I’ve been involved in,” said the midfielder, who scored the opening goal in Sunday’s 2-0 win against Swansea.
“Even though we weren’t at our best (against Swansea), we still won. That’s the sign of a good team. Hopefully we can keep that going for the future.”
Pochettino noted after the club’s latest victory that the players will have to now deal with a much greater level of expectation on them, having moved into fourth place in the table.
Lallana himself said he expects Saints to be taken even more seriously following their strong start.
“If we keep performing how we are and picking up results then definitely,” he said. “It’s normal for teams to do that.”
While many will feel Saints are punching above their weight in terms of league position, Lallana says the team are going to continue to think about climbing the table, rather than worrying about being overtaken.
“We’ll just take it a game at a time,” he said. “For however long we’re in fourth we’re going to want to stay there and look up, we’re not going to look behind us.
“That’s the same as any team. You don’t want to look behind you, you just want to look up. While we’re in fourth position we’re going to want to stay there and win our next game.
“We deserve to be there. We’ve been consistent, we’ve kept clean sheets. People might say we haven’t played the best teams yet, but we’ve been to Anfield and picked up three points. Swansea are no walkovers. They’re going to finish in the top half this year, they’re a really good side and will take points off good teams.”
Lallana added: “Three or four years ago people might not have thought Swansea would get in Europe, but they’re in Europe and they’re performing well in Europe. It’s possible, and why not?”
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