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Henry: Puel’s desire is second to none

17 Aug 2016
Southampton 1-1 Watford

Arsenal legend backs 'inspirational' former mentor to be successful as Southampton manager

Southampton manager Claude Puel's first away match in the Premier League does not come much tougher than a trip to Old Trafford to face Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United in on Friday, but PL legend and former team-mate Thierry Henry has backed the Frenchman, saying his desire to succeed is "second to none".

Henry was breaking into the senior set-up at Monaco just as Puel's seven-year playing career at the French club was winding down.

The scorer of 175 Premier League goals was grateful to his senior team-mate at Monaco in helping him to improve in front of goal in extra hours after training.  

Claude Puel and Thierry Henry (circled) at Monaco
Claude Puel (circled left) helped Thierry Henry (circled right) at Monaco

“I played with him in his last season,” Henry told premierleague.com.

“He wasn’t playing a lot but I always admired his desire and commitment. His desire is second to none. If he plays against his son he will step on his son to win the game, it is crazy!

“I was missing a lot of opportunities to score when I was young. I was taking six chances to score two. I started to work with him after training, working on my stamina and my finishing.”

Puel coached at Monaco, Lille and Lyon before guiding Nice to fourth place in Ligue 1 last season and Henry, a pundit with Sky Sports who will show Southampton’s trip to Man Utd in the UK, expects an organised and passionate Saints team in the mould of their manager.

Top scorer Thierry Henry celebrates scoring a hat-trick in a comeback win over Liverpool
Thierry Henry scored 175 Premier League goals for Arsenal

“He was very inspirational for me, especially, his attitude,” Henry said. “You’re going to see a team well organised, to try and play the game, and hopefully it will be successful for him.

“He’s going to have to adapt to the Premier League, because it is something very different to what he came across before. He is passionate about the game. He has massive potential to be successful.”

Sky Sports' biggest ever football season includes 126 live matches from the Premier League.

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