Southampton assistant Perez deflects attention from Osvaldo controversy

The assistant manager believes winning games is the best way to end a week of tumult for the Saints after the departure of Nicola Cortese and suspension of the Italian striker
Southampton assistant manager Jesus Perez paid tribute to his side as they overcame a stubborn showing from Yeovil to secure secure passage to the FA Cup fifth round after goals from Guly Do Prado and academy graduate Sam Gallagher.

In a week in which Southampton have made plenty of headlines for all the wrong reasons, a giant-slaying from the Glovers was the last thing the Saints needed, and the assistant manager spoke of his relief after their 2-0 victory.

“Always, winning the game is the best medicine to relax,” he told reporters.

“It is the most important to talk about football, players and training [rather than off-field issues].

“It wasn’t an easy game, the first half was open and they [Yeovil] had some chances to score.

“In the second half we played better and better and created lots of chances to win the game.”

In particular, the spaniard singled out Do Prado for praise, after the forward scored his first goal for the club in two years.

“I’m happy for him,” he said.

“He had a serious injury but he’s doing well and he’s working hard and he deserved to play today and score the first goal”

One player Perez refused to be drawn on, however, was striker Dani Osvaldo, who was handed a two-week suspension for head-butting team-mate Jose Fonte in a training ground fracas on Thursday.

“I can’t talk any more about this situation, but we’ll see in the next days what happened,” he said.

 “The club statement was clear and there’s nothing more to comment from me.”

The Argentine striker has done himself no favours with his most recent episode, and reports from St Mary’s that the firebrand forward has lost support among his team-mates are beginning to gain traction amid rumoured interest from Inter.

Yeovil manager Gary Johnson, however, was his usual affable self and provided his unique take on the situation.

“I’m sure every now and again someone hits someone else with their handbag,” he joked.

“Whether there’s a brick in it is another thing.

“I would look at the situation as to what’s best for the dressing room, how do the other lads feel, because you’ve got to make that dressing room is right, and is the right environment for you to win football matches”

Johnson can head back to Huish Park in good spirits given his side’s competiveness in what was, at times, a tight affair, although the vast gulf of quality between the two sides did begin to show as the visitors slumped to a 2-0 defeat.

“Our first half performance was as good as Southampton’s and they needed the second point because we were certainly in the game,” he said.

“We kept them down to few chances and we created a few ourselves, so I was very proud of our team in the first half because we were up against quality opposition."