Tino Livramento says Southampton supporters "don't deserve" to be supporting a club in the Championship and says they'll need their fans more than ever in the second tier.

Saints were relegated from the Premier League this season after winning just six of their 38 matches and finishing rock bottom of the table in 20th as a result.

They now face the difficult challenge of securing immediate promotion from the Championship next season, which is the aim of owners Sport Republic.

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“There’s no way Southampton should be in the Championship,” Livramento told the club website. “The fans don’t deserve to be supporting a club that’s in the Championship, but that’s the one thing that will never leave – the fans that support the club.

“We’re going to need them more than ever next season, because the Championship is not a forgiving league. You play so many games.

“The club’s been amazing with me, with everything they’ve done, and it’s not been a great season to not be a part of. I would’ve loved to be out there with the team, suffering every week, but at least I’d be out there and be able to have my opinion on what we should do."

Livramento suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury last year that kept on the sidelines for 13 months, only returning to first-team action during last month's away defeat against Brighton.

The road to recovery was a tough one for the defender, who tore his hamstring in January just as he was beginning to feel ready to return and help his teammates fight relegation.

“I had surgery on that as well, so I’ve had two surgeries, been out for over a year and now I feel like I’m getting to the point that my body’s in the best shape it has been," the 20-year-old added.

“That was the biggest setback I’ve had. If anything, it helped me. The extra two and a half months, taking it to a year, just gave me that extra security in my head, knowing that, ­‘ok, it’s been a year. It’s in a good place, I know it’s strong.”


2023-06-02T06:11:06Z dg43tfdfdgfd