Nathan Redmond has become a key component in Ralph Hassenhuttl’s revolution – but still finds himself throwing his boots in the dressing room.
Southampton midfielder Redmond, 26, admits he is his own harshest critic and has already set himself high standards for the season ahead.
Redmond was a consistent performer last term, scored five goals but was hugely influential in their push up the table and yet he wants to be scoring more goals and providing more assists this time.
“I think this season is about being that bit more relentless, keep putting the goals in consistently and once one goes in then more will follow,” said Redmond.
“I’m not going about to perform for myself and myself only because I’m not a selfish player, but in those moments when I am in front of goal then I need to be a bit more clinical.
“But I need to put the ball in the net, not miss chances and end up throwing my boots around in the dressing room!”
Redmond is a hugely likeable character, is passionate about the Right To Play charity to disadvantaged kids around the world and is approaching his fifth season at St Mary’s.
The younger players at the club look up to him but he jokes that he still sees himself as the “middle child” in a very British dressing room which has also taken to Hassenhuttl who oversaw a dramatic improvement last season.
That has raised hopes for a much more consistent campaign especially when Redmond clearly enjoys working with the Southampton manager and his adaption to become a “false eight.”
“The manager can be tough on me, he doesn’t have favourites and everyone gets the same treatment whether it’s the hairdryer or not,” said Redmond.
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“It took a while for his ethos to really stamp into us. It took a while for us to learn from him bit I think he’d also say that he has learnt from us.
“I think we have a very English or British squad and towards the end of last season we had about eight UK based players in the starting line-up and he can see how serious we take the game and it’s been a nice balance, a successful and educational last couple of years.
“I can improve everywhere. There’s never a point where you stop learning because there’s always things you can improve upon, things you can take from the previous game, the previous season and football presents you with challenges every single day.
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“There’s so many different variations but playing that false eight position is just being available for your team mates and if the ball drops to the centre halves then you can go out and press. The false eight gives you a lot to think about and this manager will always push you.”
Redmond played right through the age groups with England and does have a senior cap which he won under his former under-21 boss Gareth Southgate back in 2017.
Birmingham-born Redmond has looked on with pride at James Ward-Prowse and Danny Ings both getting England recalls for the Nations League squad. England is still in Redmond’s thoughts, although getting off to a good start with Saints is just as important.
He added: “Playing for England was one of the things that I looked forward to when I was 16 or 17, it played a huge part in my development to become a fully fledged professional footballer and I still believe if you perform well enough then you can get your chance.
“I’m so happy for Prowsey, I’ve known Ingsy for so long and seen him work so hard and I couldn’t be happier for him to get his rewards.
“I think we can definitely get into the top ten, we weren’t far off last season. We need to get off to a good start. I’ve been here four years and lost on the opening day last season and drew the previous three years so it’s important we start well this time.”
Nathan Redmond was speaking on behalf of Virgin Media and their Super Saints campaign.
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