Writer: Daniel Bailey
Date:Thursday March 5 2009
Southampton legend David Armstrong has praised Mark Wotte, saying that the changes implemented by the Head Coach have made the team 'efficient and effective.'
Since taking over from fellow Dutchman Jan Poortvliet in January, Wotte has led a revival in the club's fortunes.
Saints go into Saturday's trip to Birmingham off the back of three straight wins, a run that the south coast club haven't been able to replicate for two years.
If Wotte's side manage to make it four in a row, it will be the first time since 2006, where George Burley's men recorded victories against Leeds, Luton, Birmingham and Hull.
Wotte has overseen an improvement in Saints' form after making some notable changes. Most obvious is the introduction of two men in attack, with Jason Euell partnering Marek Saganowski.
One of the first things Wotte promised when he took over was that Southampton's experienced pros would play a more prominent role, and the 52-year-old has been true to his word.
In addition to this, the midfield is now playing in a diamond formation, something that appears to be paying dividends for Saints' Head Coach.
Wotte has also been fortunate enough to call on Polish striker Saganowski, after the 30-year-old returned from a loan spell at Danish side Aalborg. The signing of defender Jan-Paul Saeijs, just before he became Head Coach, has also made Saints look stronger in the heart of defence.
Dell legend Armstrong, who made more than 200 appearances for the club in the 1980s, has watched Wotte's impact with interest as a summariser on Saints' matches for Radio Hampshire.
Speaking to The Daily Echo, Armstrong said, "The main difference is obviously playing two men up front, where prior to that it was just one and they were very isolated.
"They are playing very much more direct now, in the sense that whenever anyone gets the ball the first thought is to try and hit the front men," he explained.
"Before, it was good passing and pretty stuff, but without being efficient and effective. Now they are efficient and effective."
Armstrong added, "Players like David McGoldrick, Simon Gillett, Lloyd James and Andrew Surman know full well what the first thought is now for anyone that gets the ball. And they know they've got to try and get up and support the front two.
"That should have been how they played in the first place. It's taken them three-and-a-half seasons to realise that's the way to win in this league, but they're doing it now."
Date:Thursday March 5 2009
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