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'We need to make the fans proud of the team on the pitch'

Southampton manager Russell Martin
[Getty Images]

Southampton manager Russell Martin said he felt "excited, anxious and scared of what is to come" as his side aim to reach the Championship play off final when they take on West Bromwich Albion on Friday.

"What a game to look forward to. What a game to be involved in at our place. The preparations have gone really, really well and the team’s in a good place, but the team that embraces the feeling they have and deals with that the best will win, I really believe that," said Martin, whose side drew 0-0 in the first leg at The Hawthorns.

When asked about the fitness of striker Che Adams, Martin added: "He is in a good place. He's in a much better place than he was. He's giving everything he can to be fit for the game." The Saints boss was then asked whether Adams would start and he coyly replied: "We'll wait and see."

Martin was keen to stress the importance of the home fans at St Mary's: "They're the most important people at the club. They will be here long beyond any of the players and myself. Tomorrow, they need to help the most important people - the boys on the pitch - and I've got no doubt they will.

"We've had some amazing moments here, some amazing moments this season and the connection between the team and the supporters has grown so much from the start of the season to now.

"It's something that I'm really grateful for and the players are really grateful for and I've got no doubt tomorrow that they will bring a lot of energy and the team has to bring a lot of energy to make sure they give them something to cheer about and really get behind.

"I've said it all season - we need to make them proud of the team on the pitch."