April 22, 2019

Hughes: Over-zealous Swansea fans may have been behind hotel disruption

Southampton manager Mark Hughes believes "over-zealous Swansea fans" may have been responsible for his side's disrupted preparations ahead of last night's crucial 1-0 victory over fellow relegation contenders Swansea.

Hughes said "the dark arts were at work" after his squad were forced to stay 40 miles away from the stadium due to a last minute hotel cancellation in Swansea.

Yet he said his side used it as motivation in the crucial win that all but secures Southampton's Premier League status.

The Marriott Hotel in Swansea, where Southampton had been due to stay before their booking was cancelled on Sunday, said it had made the decision to prevent a virus spreading after a number of guests were taken ill last week.

Read more:Saints march towards Premier League safety with pivotal win in south Wales

"It helped our focus," said Hughes.

"We used it as a motivating factor. We suspected that maybe some of the dark arts were at work but we didn't let it affect us.

"I'm not for one minute suggesting Swansea had anything to do with that. Maybe it was over-zealous Swansea fans in positions to affect our hotel booking."

A late goal from Manolo Gabbiadini lifted Southampton into 16th and means only a 10-goal swing, with Saints losing at home to Manchester City and Swansea beating Stoke at home, would condemn them to relegation.

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