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Morgan Schneiderlin says Victor Wanyama faces stiff competition from Jack Cork and James Ward-Prowse
5:00am Monday 12th August 2013 in Football
Morgan Schneiderlin believes Victor Wanyama will be a major asset this season – but has told the £12m signing not expect an automatic place in the Saints line-up.
Wanyama, who arrived from Celtic earlier this summer, has impressed his new team-mates with his pace, commitment and skill. But such is the competition among Saints midfielders, Schneiderlin insists manager Maurico Pochettino has a big selection headache looming.
Schneiderlin was outstanding during his maiden Premier League campaign, a runaway winner of the Daily Echo player of the season award, but the modest Frenchman believes that the central midfield positions are up for grabs.
Schneiderlin said: “Victor is a good player and adds something to our squad.
“He is good on the ball, which makes him a very good player, but there are many players in the squad who can play there.
“We have got Corky and Ward-Prowse for a start so it is not definite that it is going to be Victor Wanyama and me who are going to be playing in the centre of midfield this season.
“Both of us need to show we are worthy of playing for Southampton.’’
Schneiderlin is turning his attention now to the opening-day clash with West Bromwich next weekend and the need to put the record straight.
The Baggies did the double over Saints last season, winning 2-0 at The Hawthorns on Bonfire Night and then triumphing 3-0 at St Mary’s in April when Saints had both Gaston Ramirez and Danny Fox sent off.
“They beat us twice last year and they were better than us on both occasions,” Schneiderlin remarked.
“So we must put that right.
“We had an off-day at their place and then, to be honest, we had another off-day at ours.
“Looking back, we were not ready for either game.
“Now we know what to do and we are already thinking of revenge.
“Last year people said we had a tough start to the season against the Manchester clubs and Arsenal. “Now we take on a good team like West Bromwich and later Norwich and others, teams who might expect to beat us.
“You can be sure they will be fully prepared for us so we must be at our best immediately. “Sociedad was a good work-out.
“We knew they would be top class opposition because they came fourth in La Liga so we did well to beat them.
“We conceded three goals and we could have avoided them, but we now have a week to train on that and to improve. “It is important we do not concede three next week.’’
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