Pahars fit for Saints survival fight

Latvian striker Marian Pahars has declared himself fit to help Southampton in their Premiership survival bid after almost two years out with an ankle injury.

Latvian striker Marian Pahars has declared himself fit to help Southampton in their Premiership survival bid after almost two years out with an ankle injury.

Pahars, a veteran of previous successful Saints attempts to escape the drop, is ready after scoring twice in two reserve matches.

Pahars, a £850,000 (€1.2m) signing from Skonto Riga, helped Saints to last-day victories against Wimbledon at Selhurst Park and Everton.

He said: “When we beat Wimbledon I had only just arrived in England and I did not speak the language so I did not understand how important the match was.

“We must show the same spirit again if we are to survive. We need to go and fight and win everything. When you look at the ability we have, you have got to say we are a better team than Crystal Palace.

“People have knocked us this season but without a doubt this is the best squad that we have had in the six or seven years since I have been here.

“As long as we match them for spirit and fight, then our quality should tell. But we have to make sure we give 100 per cent.

“The situation is dangerous but we have to make sure that nervousness and frustration do not creep in. I think we relaxed too much earlier in the season and for some reason we did not pick up points when we played well.

“We have got massive experience in the dressing room to be able to win away.”

Redknapp has no new injury problems and may be tempted to take Pahars to Selhurst Park to add his pace and experience from the bench.

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