Pellegrino seeks perfect balance

08 March 2018 12:14:26 EST

Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino accepts that his side will be involved in nine massive Premier League matches in the next two months.

Saints face Newcastle United at St James' Park this weekend in a crunch relegation battle and Pellegrino is looking forward to the encounter, which his side are 39/20 to win.

After 29 matches of the season, Southampton are 17th in the table, one point above the drop-zone and one point below the 16th-placed Magpies.

Southampton were held to a goalless draw by Stoke City on Saturday at St Mary's and are 15/8 to be relegated this season, while Newcastle are 16/1 to go down.

Pellegrino said: "I think every single game from now until the end of the season will be massive.

"We have to be focused on what we do on the pitch - how we attack, how we defend, how balanced is our mentality in good moments and difficult moments.

"The team is conscious about how we need to be in this moment, how we approach this situation and we are ready to compete.

"It is difficult to talk to the fans and say we are getting better because since January the team has lifted their performance but now we need results. That is the reality."

Meanwhile, Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic insists he knows nothing about rumours linking him with the Southampton manager's job.

He dismissed the speculation by saying: "I am so busy here and thinking about my team rather than gossip about other teams."

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