Delap: Saints owe the fans

Republic of Ireland midfielder Rory Delap has revealed that Southampton are determined to give their supporters something to cheer about against Blackburn tomorrow.

Republic of Ireland midfielder Rory Delap has revealed that Southampton are determined to give their supporters something to cheer about against Blackburn tomorrow.

Paul Sturrock’s side play host to Blackburn looking for their first win of the season after producing a poor performance at Aston Villa last weekend when they lost 2-0.

Delap admitted the players let themselves and their fans down at Villa Park where they found themselves two goals down after just 34 minutes and are anxious to avoid a repeat.

Delap said: “It didn’t go as planned at Aston Villa but we have worked hard over the last couple of days and we’re all determined to put it right against Blackburn.

“It just didn’t happen on the day and it was not for lack of trying but, for one reason or another, everyone had a bit of an off day and if that happens you get punished.

“A lot of fans travelled on that day and they had every right to be frustrated because it wasn’t what they deserved.

“We know how the fans feel because we are like that ourselves and it is only us that can put it right.

“We’ve not been down this week but it has affected us. Everyone has been working hard in training and the Blackburn game is a chance to put things right.

Delap is hoping to be restored to the starting line-up by Sturrock after impressing as a substitute at Villa.

He added: “I was disappointed not to start at Villa but there’s still a long way to go, I’ve been out of the team before and hopefully I can get back soon.

“There is loads of competition for places in midfield at the moment and it’s tough but that’s good for the club.

“There are plenty of players to play in different positions and that should bring the performance of the team up because no place is guaranteed.”

England striker James Beattie is doubtful again with the thigh injury which forced him to miss the defeat at Villa.

Brett Ormerod or Peter Crouch will deputise in attack alongside Kevin Phillips while defender Claus Lundekvam is battling to overcome a toe injury.

Midfielder Matthew Oakley and striker Marian Pahars are still not fully fit from knee and ankle problems while centre-back Michael Svensson is out for the next three months following knee surgery.

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