Ryan Bertrand believes that one of the contributing factors to Southampton’s start to the season is the level-headedness that exists within the squad.
Bertrand says the team remains grounded following their sixth consecutive victory in all competitions, and adds that the level of desire which exists, combined with the level of talent is one of the main reasons behind their success.
Speaking after their latest win, at St Mary’s over Queens Park Rangers, Bertrand explained how everything has come together at the club.
“We’re blessed with a lot of quality in the team, but at the same time we’re very humble on how we go about our work,” he told reporters.
“We never rest on our laurels and every man is trying to help each other. I think if you mix hard work with the talent that we’ve got then it will bring the results that we’ve had.
“It’s been a good start for me and that’s credit to players, staff, the manager, the background staff, you guys – everyone around us has made it a really positive place with really nice people so that’s helped a lot.”
Ryan made the summer move to Southampton on loan from Chelsea, and he insists that he never had any doubts about making the switch for regular top-flight football at a club which is right for him.
“It’s brilliant for me to be here at a club like Southampton and play,” he described. “The manager has been fantastic with me his full-backs like to get forward and attack as well, so that’s something I relish.”
The left back showed some of that attacking intent by notching his first Premier League goal and opening strike for Saints in Saturday’s 2-1 win over QPR, and the 25 year-old revealed that he’s already in competition with defensive partner Nathaniel Clyne for contributions at the other end of the pitch.
“Yeah, it was good to score because Clyney has been running away with it!” he joked. “I pulled it back today as I told him cup goals don’t count so we’re at 1-1 now for the season.”
Bertrand found the back of the net in the 54th minute to give Saints the lead for the first time in the game, and he fondly recalled the moment after linking up with home debutant Sadio Mané for the strike.
“I just held back half a second to close the space and as soon as he took a touch I just made my way in there. He (Mané) put it on a plate for me with a fantastic bit of skill and I was in striking distance, then it went in.”
Bertrand opens the scoring against QPR at St Mary's
It was a special way for Bertrand to mark his 50th Premier League appearance, with the goal helping to break down a resilient opponent who Saints had to be patient against before claiming all three points from QPR.
“They did make it tough for us,” he admitted.
“I think as a team our results have perhaps shifted people’s outlook on us, so that expectation is there now to turn over some teams, but in the Premier League everyone is capable of beating everyone and QPR put up a tough fight.
“We dug in. It was a fantastic show of character, and we can be really proud of that.”