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Fonte: We want the clean sheet record

José Fonte

José Fonte with fellow Southampton defenders Virgil van Dijk and Ryan Bertrand

Image by: Matt Watson/Southampton FC

PUBLISHED

17:30 26th February 2016

by Gordon Simpson

Saints are on the verge of tying their top-flight clean sheet record – and captain José Fonte has made no secret of the fact that they not only want to do that, but also go on and break it.

Ronald Koeman’s side have produced shutouts in each of their last six games, and have the opportunity to extend that streak to seven when they host Chelsea, at St Mary’s, tomorrow.

That would match the top-flight and post-war record set by the club in 2001 and leave them just one game short of Southampton’s all-time best run of eight consecutive clean sheets, which was achieved across the 1921/22 and 1922/23 seasons.

Fonte does not shy away from admitting it is something the players are thinking about.

"Yeah, we do, of course,” he told Southampton’s official YouTube channel. “We're proud of it. We play in the Premier League, the toughest league in the world, and one of the leagues that has the most goals in the world, so it's tough to keep clean sheets and we are proud of it.

“It's great that we've kept six in a row, but we know that we are up against it against Chelsea, but we are happy with our connection, with our understanding, with our communication and we look forward to this test, because these are the games we want to play.”

Fonte also provided an insight into the mentality of the team when they head out onto the pitch right now.

"We just believe that we're very hard to score against at the moment,” he explained. “Like I said, our understanding, our communication levels are very high at the moment.

“We help each other in giving small indications, small information that helps us to be in the right position at the right time, and then, again, it's togetherness.

“If one teammate is not able to stop [an attack], there's another one just behind him to help him out and this is the spirit, this is the togetherness that the team shows.

“It's not only the back five, or the back four and the goalkeeper, it's the whole team, and the whole team is working very hard at the moment. We know that we have six clean sheets in a row and we want to break the record and we want to keep going unbeaten if we can to the end of the season – we know it's going to be almost impossible, but if we could do that or we could stretch the run that's what we're going to be trying to do.”


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