Lovren: Saints still gunning for top six spot

Basingstoke Gazette: Dejan Lovren Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren is back from injury feeling stronger than ever and is targeting a top-six finish in the Premier League.

The centre-half was named among the substitutes for Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at West Ham – his first involvement since damaging ankle ligaments at Sunderland last month.

Lovren is likely to be fully fit for next weekend’s clash with Liverpool, at St Mary’s, which will be a major boost to Mauricio Pochettino ahead of the run-in.

The setback at Upton Park left Saints ninth in the Premier League, and dealt a blow to their Europa League ambitions.

Pochettino’s side now trail fifth place by 11 points, and are half-a-dozen behind both sixth and seventh, where European qualification could drop to.

While the gap appears quite substantial, Lovren believes Saints have the ability to bridge it.

“We are really happy with where we are right now, but I think we can do much better, and we have a lot of games still,” he said.

“We want to finish in the best position that we can, so I hope it will be the sixth place, for the Europa League.

“That would be an amazing place for us, and we can achieve it.”

The Croatian international does admit, however, that there is little room for error if the club are to realise his ambition.

“We need to win, we need to take every point, every possible point now, for the next games, but I think and I believe, like the others, so we can,” he said.

Lovren’s recovery, like that of his colleague Gastón Ramírez, who was also injured in the 2-2 league draw at Sunderland on January 18, has been quicker than anticipated.

Both were initially expected to be sidelined for between six and eight weeks, but have made it back well ahead of schedule.

“I’m feeling much better,” said Lovren. “I think the injury is behind me, after four weeks.

“It was a difficult time for me, because I was used to playing, but, ok, it happens in football and I think I am much stronger than before.

“I’m really happy, because I was thinking directly after the injury I would be back much sooner than they said.

“I think I have a good body, and the recovery was really going well, with the help of our medical staff.

“Of course, it was amazing to work with them, so thanks to them, and thanks to everybody who supported me in this difficult time. But it was also a good time to learn some things.”

Comments (18)

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8:13am Tue 25 Feb 14

Abbey Saint says...

Dejan back and double over Liverpool - lovely jubley
Dejan back and double over Liverpool - lovely jubley Abbey Saint

8:35am Tue 25 Feb 14

Portswood says...

Love the positivity from Dejan.

'But it was also a good time to learn some things.'

I wonder what they were? I like to think that as well as scrutinising videos of our remaining Premier League opponents, he also took time out to teach himself Mandarin, quantum mechanics and why the current economic system is screwing the planet. And perhaps brushed up his golf swing too.
Love the positivity from Dejan. 'But it was also a good time to learn some things.' I wonder what they were? I like to think that as well as scrutinising videos of our remaining Premier League opponents, he also took time out to teach himself Mandarin, quantum mechanics and why the current economic system is screwing the planet. And perhaps brushed up his golf swing too. Portswood

8:57am Tue 25 Feb 14

Sheffieldsaint says...

What we really need is our strikers to re-discover their scoring touch. Not just for Saints but for their chances of making it onto the plane to Brazil. People like Stirling are beginning to score on a regular basis and that will put the pressure on SRL and co. It is always more difficult for the so called 'small clubs' like Saints and our top players seem to have to perform just that little bit extra to catch the eye. 4-0 Saturday C.O.Y.R.
What we really need is our strikers to re-discover their scoring touch. Not just for Saints but for their chances of making it onto the plane to Brazil. People like Stirling are beginning to score on a regular basis and that will put the pressure on SRL and co. It is always more difficult for the so called 'small clubs' like Saints and our top players seem to have to perform just that little bit extra to catch the eye. 4-0 Saturday C.O.Y.R. Sheffieldsaint

10:34am Tue 25 Feb 14

Jesus_02 says...

Cant wait for Dejan to get back but at least another CB would be on my shopping list this summer. Fair play to Maya he and Jos are not up to PL standard. If we want to progress we dont ever want to find ourselves in the possition that we are protecting Fonte

I know Maya scored but we would have won one nil if we had better defenders.

This weekend:
Chelsea 1 - 0 Everton. Chelsea had 25 attempts in this game; only in the 0-0 with West Ham have they had more in the Premier League this season (39).

If Chelsea Lost 3-1 to Everton their fans wouldnt be saying they needed to score more
Cant wait for Dejan to get back but at least another CB would be on my shopping list this summer. Fair play to Maya he and Jos are not up to PL standard. If we want to progress we dont ever want to find ourselves in the possition that we are protecting Fonte I know Maya scored but we would have won one nil if we had better defenders. This weekend: Chelsea 1 - 0 Everton. Chelsea had 25 attempts in this game; only in the 0-0 with West Ham have they had more in the Premier League this season (39). If Chelsea Lost 3-1 to Everton their fans wouldnt be saying they needed to score more Jesus_02

11:19am Tue 25 Feb 14

Rising_Son says...

Jesus_02 wrote:
Cant wait for Dejan to get back but at least another CB would be on my shopping list this summer. Fair play to Maya he and Jos are not up to PL standard. If we want to progress we dont ever want to find ourselves in the possition that we are protecting Fonte

I know Maya scored but we would have won one nil if we had better defenders.

This weekend:
Chelsea 1 - 0 Everton. Chelsea had 25 attempts in this game; only in the 0-0 with West Ham have they had more in the Premier League this season (39).

If Chelsea Lost 3-1 to Everton their fans wouldnt be saying they needed to score more
If we had better defenders, we would have drawn nil nil.
[quote][p][bold]Jesus_02[/bold] wrote: Cant wait for Dejan to get back but at least another CB would be on my shopping list this summer. Fair play to Maya he and Jos are not up to PL standard. If we want to progress we dont ever want to find ourselves in the possition that we are protecting Fonte I know Maya scored but we would have won one nil if we had better defenders. This weekend: Chelsea 1 - 0 Everton. Chelsea had 25 attempts in this game; only in the 0-0 with West Ham have they had more in the Premier League this season (39). If Chelsea Lost 3-1 to Everton their fans wouldnt be saying they needed to score more[/p][/quote]If we had better defenders, we would have drawn nil nil. Rising_Son

11:50am Tue 25 Feb 14

Chipmonk1 says...

bloomin eck, reading the comments on saints stories lately is like reading the obits! Even Osprey has taken to renaming himself and confucious has stopped regaling us with his astute observations and humor. Are things really that dire? Saints are about where most of us could have hoped at this point in the season. For some reason SRL and AL have forgotten where the back of the net is but that will change. TBH i am getting sick of the negative comments regarding MoPo. All I will say is be careful of what you wish for. IMHO MoPo is the best manager we have had in many a year. Play pretty or win ugly I know which I prefer.
Finally please disregard all of the above as I am one of those overseas supporters whose opinions count for nought because apparently watching saints at 2am for 30 odd sunday mornings a year is not commitment enough.
bloomin eck, reading the comments on saints stories lately is like reading the obits! Even Osprey has taken to renaming himself and confucious has stopped regaling us with his astute observations and humor. Are things really that dire? Saints are about where most of us could have hoped at this point in the season. For some reason SRL and AL have forgotten where the back of the net is but that will change. TBH i am getting sick of the negative comments regarding MoPo. All I will say is be careful of what you wish for. IMHO MoPo is the best manager we have had in many a year. Play pretty or win ugly I know which I prefer. Finally please disregard all of the above as I am one of those overseas supporters whose opinions count for nought because apparently watching saints at 2am for 30 odd sunday mornings a year is not commitment enough. Chipmonk1

12:35pm Tue 25 Feb 14

andoru says...

No chance. Don't get me wrong, I love my Saints, but top six is beyond us. BUT, it's important to have something to aim for. If we aim for 8th, we'll finish 9th, so let's aim for 6th and finish 7th or 8th.
No chance. Don't get me wrong, I love my Saints, but top six is beyond us. BUT, it's important to have something to aim for. If we aim for 8th, we'll finish 9th, so let's aim for 6th and finish 7th or 8th. andoru

12:47pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Jan28th1984 says...

Commendable ambition from Lovren there, and I hope the club can achieve 6th place. It's a pretty tall order, though.
Over the last ten seasons it has averaged out that 61 points is needed to finish 6th.
Last season 61 points was only enough to finish 7th and the 6th-placed team had 63 points.

So if we are now on 39 and with 11 games left we need to average 2 points a game to finish anywhere near where Lovren wants.

I don't think we can do that but it's true we have made big progress on last season and with a strengthening of the squad over the summer we can do better next year....
Commendable ambition from Lovren there, and I hope the club can achieve 6th place. It's a pretty tall order, though. Over the last ten seasons it has averaged out that 61 points is needed to finish 6th. Last season 61 points was only enough to finish 7th and the 6th-placed team had 63 points. So if we are now on 39 and with 11 games left we need to average 2 points a game to finish anywhere near where Lovren wants. I don't think we can do that but it's true we have made big progress on last season and with a strengthening of the squad over the summer we can do better next year.... Jan28th1984

1:24pm Tue 25 Feb 14

el caballo santos101 says...

Chipmonk1 wrote:
bloomin eck, reading the comments on saints stories lately is like reading the obits! Even Osprey has taken to renaming himself and confucious has stopped regaling us with his astute observations and humor. Are things really that dire? Saints are about where most of us could have hoped at this point in the season. For some reason SRL and AL have forgotten where the back of the net is but that will change. TBH i am getting sick of the negative comments regarding MoPo. All I will say is be careful of what you wish for. IMHO MoPo is the best manager we have had in many a year. Play pretty or win ugly I know which I prefer.
Finally please disregard all of the above as I am one of those overseas supporters whose opinions count for nought because apparently watching saints at 2am for 30 odd sunday mornings a year is not commitment enough.
your right chipmonk, it has become so negative on here that you would think that we are in deep trouble at the bottom of the league and had lost 8-0 after having no chances to a L2 team in the cup not a sunderland side that has already reached one cup final this year, and who we cant seem to beat even with our first team. we are however 9th in the league after serious injury problems, that had they happened to a `big club` or a `London` club the media would have mentioned it all the time, instead of saying we had a drop in form. hoofs injuries have been no worse than ours but it was always given as an excuse for their poor form. we also lost NC and Dani decided to kick off.
Yes MP is a great manager who has not been `found out` I remember the same people saying that at the end of last season! I want him to stay for years and would much rather have him than almost every other manager in the prem (I would love to see Monk do well at Swansea).
but as you say your opinion is invalid because your abroad and need to be taught by the fans who go to games as they see so much more than you do on tv ;0). I`m proud of our overseas fans because you do great missionary work in spreading the saints word around the world, also if it wasn't for a saint going abroad brazil wouldn't have learnt to play football the proper way!
[quote][p][bold]Chipmonk1[/bold] wrote: bloomin eck, reading the comments on saints stories lately is like reading the obits! Even Osprey has taken to renaming himself and confucious has stopped regaling us with his astute observations and humor. Are things really that dire? Saints are about where most of us could have hoped at this point in the season. For some reason SRL and AL have forgotten where the back of the net is but that will change. TBH i am getting sick of the negative comments regarding MoPo. All I will say is be careful of what you wish for. IMHO MoPo is the best manager we have had in many a year. Play pretty or win ugly I know which I prefer. Finally please disregard all of the above as I am one of those overseas supporters whose opinions count for nought because apparently watching saints at 2am for 30 odd sunday mornings a year is not commitment enough.[/p][/quote]your right chipmonk, it has become so negative on here that you would think that we are in deep trouble at the bottom of the league and had lost 8-0 after having no chances to a L2 team in the cup not a sunderland side that has already reached one cup final this year, and who we cant seem to beat even with our first team. we are however 9th in the league after serious injury problems, that had they happened to a `big club` or a `London` club the media would have mentioned it all the time, instead of saying we had a drop in form. hoofs injuries have been no worse than ours but it was always given as an excuse for their poor form. we also lost NC and Dani decided to kick off. Yes MP is a great manager who has not been `found out` I remember the same people saying that at the end of last season! I want him to stay for years and would much rather have him than almost every other manager in the prem (I would love to see Monk do well at Swansea). but as you say your opinion is invalid because your abroad and need to be taught by the fans who go to games as they see so much more than you do on tv ;0). I`m proud of our overseas fans because you do great missionary work in spreading the saints word around the world, also if it wasn't for a saint going abroad brazil wouldn't have learnt to play football the proper way! el caballo santos101

1:32pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Jan28th1984 says...

To all home (and abroad ;-) fans - whose opinion is as valid as any regular match-goer), I still maintain SFC cannot achieve 6th place this season.
My most wildly optimistic expectations for our remaining games are:

Liverpool (H) - Lose
Palace (A) - Win
Norwich (H) - Win
Spurs (A) - Lose
Newcastle (H) - Draw
Manchester C (A) - Lose
Cardiff (H) - Win
Villa (A) - Draw
Everton (H) - Draw
Swansea (A) - Win
Manchester U (H) - Win

Even that is 17 points which should put us about 8th, maybe 7th if those above us screw up.
To all home (and abroad ;-) fans - whose opinion is as valid as any regular match-goer), I still maintain SFC cannot achieve 6th place this season. My most wildly optimistic expectations for our remaining games are: Liverpool (H) - Lose Palace (A) - Win Norwich (H) - Win Spurs (A) - Lose Newcastle (H) - Draw Manchester C (A) - Lose Cardiff (H) - Win Villa (A) - Draw Everton (H) - Draw Swansea (A) - Win Manchester U (H) - Win Even that is 17 points which should put us about 8th, maybe 7th if those above us screw up. Jan28th1984

1:36pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Jan28th1984 says...

My mistake - 18 points, but still 8th or 7th at best.
My mistake - 18 points, but still 8th or 7th at best. Jan28th1984

2:06pm Tue 25 Feb 14

drkensta says...

To get a result on Saturday Saints must play at top pace throughout the game. There can be no casual across the field passing because it will be intercepted and turned into a speedy attack by Liverpool from which they will have a 70% chance of scoring. But if we attack them at pace and are on target with our shooting we have a good chance of securing a win, because Liverpool's defense is suspect in the middle, and their goalkeeper is not that safe under pressure. Go for it Saints, take the game to them.
To get a result on Saturday Saints must play at top pace throughout the game. There can be no casual across the field passing because it will be intercepted and turned into a speedy attack by Liverpool from which they will have a 70% chance of scoring. But if we attack them at pace and are on target with our shooting we have a good chance of securing a win, because Liverpool's defense is suspect in the middle, and their goalkeeper is not that safe under pressure. Go for it Saints, take the game to them. drkensta

2:12pm Tue 25 Feb 14

OSPREYSAINT says...

I am as optimistic as most, but I think it is too much to expect 6th, I think 7th or 8th is far better than I expected anyway. Also I think it will take a few games for Dejan, Gaston and Vic to get up to speed, but I like the idea that all of them firing on all cylinders, we could be in for some good games to finish the season off.
I am as optimistic as most, but I think it is too much to expect 6th, I think 7th or 8th is far better than I expected anyway. Also I think it will take a few games for Dejan, Gaston and Vic to get up to speed, but I like the idea that all of them firing on all cylinders, we could be in for some good games to finish the season off. OSPREYSAINT

4:27pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Rocket 1 says...

andoru wrote:
No chance. Don't get me wrong, I love my Saints, but top six is beyond us. BUT, it's important to have something to aim for. If we aim for 8th, we'll finish 9th, so let's aim for 6th and finish 7th or 8th.
Well why not aim for 5th and finish 6th????it is a possibility...
[quote][p][bold]andoru[/bold] wrote: No chance. Don't get me wrong, I love my Saints, but top six is beyond us. BUT, it's important to have something to aim for. If we aim for 8th, we'll finish 9th, so let's aim for 6th and finish 7th or 8th.[/p][/quote]Well why not aim for 5th and finish 6th????it is a possibility... Rocket 1

4:35pm Tue 25 Feb 14

mickey01 says...

he is having a laugh and as a saints fan i am a realist if we cant beat the hammers we will have to rely on the ones above us to fail before we even can think of getting above newcastle let alone any other team
he is having a laugh and as a saints fan i am a realist if we cant beat the hammers we will have to rely on the ones above us to fail before we even can think of getting above newcastle let alone any other team mickey01

8:48pm Tue 25 Feb 14

David Crook says...

I am sorry but Saints are well off the pace at the moment,our strikers miss to many chances to win most matches.
I am sorry but Saints are well off the pace at the moment,our strikers miss to many chances to win most matches. David Crook

11:06pm Tue 25 Feb 14

justaSaintsfan says...

Chipmonk1 wrote:
bloomin eck, reading the comments on saints stories lately is like reading the obits! Even Osprey has taken to renaming himself and confucious has stopped regaling us with his astute observations and humor. Are things really that dire? Saints are about where most of us could have hoped at this point in the season. For some reason SRL and AL have forgotten where the back of the net is but that will change. TBH i am getting sick of the negative comments regarding MoPo. All I will say is be careful of what you wish for. IMHO MoPo is the best manager we have had in many a year. Play pretty or win ugly I know which I prefer.
Finally please disregard all of the above as I am one of those overseas supporters whose opinions count for nought because apparently watching saints at 2am for 30 odd sunday mornings a year is not commitment enough.
Chipmonk1, I don't give a to$$ how you watch Saints games.

You are a supporter and that is all that matters!
[quote][p][bold]Chipmonk1[/bold] wrote: bloomin eck, reading the comments on saints stories lately is like reading the obits! Even Osprey has taken to renaming himself and confucious has stopped regaling us with his astute observations and humor. Are things really that dire? Saints are about where most of us could have hoped at this point in the season. For some reason SRL and AL have forgotten where the back of the net is but that will change. TBH i am getting sick of the negative comments regarding MoPo. All I will say is be careful of what you wish for. IMHO MoPo is the best manager we have had in many a year. Play pretty or win ugly I know which I prefer. Finally please disregard all of the above as I am one of those overseas supporters whose opinions count for nought because apparently watching saints at 2am for 30 odd sunday mornings a year is not commitment enough.[/p][/quote]Chipmonk1, I don't give a to$$ how you watch Saints games. You are a supporter and that is all that matters! justaSaintsfan

1:16am Wed 26 Feb 14

andoru says...

Rocket 1 wrote:
andoru wrote:
No chance. Don't get me wrong, I love my Saints, but top six is beyond us. BUT, it's important to have something to aim for. If we aim for 8th, we'll finish 9th, so let's aim for 6th and finish 7th or 8th.
Well why not aim for 5th and finish 6th????it is a possibility...
Why not 4th then? Or 1st even? It's still mathematically possible to win the title. Until it isn't, why not aim for that? Probably because it's not going to happen. There is no shame in finishing 9th. I'll be dead happy with that.
[quote][p][bold]Rocket 1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]andoru[/bold] wrote: No chance. Don't get me wrong, I love my Saints, but top six is beyond us. BUT, it's important to have something to aim for. If we aim for 8th, we'll finish 9th, so let's aim for 6th and finish 7th or 8th.[/p][/quote]Well why not aim for 5th and finish 6th????it is a possibility...[/p][/quote]Why not 4th then? Or 1st even? It's still mathematically possible to win the title. Until it isn't, why not aim for that? Probably because it's not going to happen. There is no shame in finishing 9th. I'll be dead happy with that. andoru

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