Claude Puel is unhappy that his Southampton side are being described as “boring” in the build-up to their EFL Cup semi-final tie against Liverpool.
The Saints are at home for the first leg on Wednesday, but go into the game with some supporters and sections of the media critical over their record of only 19 goals scored from their first 20 Premier League games.
Only Middlesbrough and Hull City have worse goalscoring record in the top-flight, but Puel does not think their tally in front of goal is a fair representation of Saints’ performances this season.
“I don’t know why people say we are boring,” said the Frenchman.
“Since the beginning of the season we have been playing strong games.
“It is difficult to keep up performance levels when you are playing every three days and we know we have to improve and be more clinical.
“We can have a lot of opportunities and it is important to continue this work.”
Puel urged Southampton to play freely given they are considered underdogs against Liverpool and hopes his team can improve on their 0-0 home league draw with the Reds in November.
He continued: “For the moment it is difficult to speak about the final. We are playing against a strong team so it is important to consider just this game on Wednesday.
“This is an exciting challenge. We know we are not the favourites, particularly with the second leg being away from home, but we have nothing to lose. We just have to play at a good level, to take pleasure and to get a result.
“Last time we played a strong game against them and had a good defensive organisation.
“It is important for this game to have a little more of the ball and try to control the game.
“But that is difficult against this team because of their ability to recover the ball and their strong pressing. They keep the ball well.”
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