Southampton 2 Arsenal 2: Jose Fonte happy to put 'eventful' week behind him
The defender scored the opener in the draw with the Gunners
Wednesday 29 January 2014
Southampton centre-back Jose Fonte was pleased to put an “eventful” week behind him with a goal and a point against Arsenal.
The 30-year-old has found himself amongst the headlines in recent days, having been on the receiving end of Dani Osvaldo's fit of rage in training last Wednesday.
Saints handed the Italy international a two-week suspension for the incident, which will likely see him leave for pastures new before the end of the transfer window.
Fonte was left with a black eye and was roundly cheered on his return to action against Arsenal on Tuesday, netting the opener in an entertaining 2-2 draw.
"This group is very strong mentally and the togetherness is there," the popular Portuguese defender said.
"We know each other really well and know what we are all capable of.
"We are professional and know that we have to do a job on the pitch because this is our careers and our lives and we need to deliver.
"Credit to all the players who showed great character and great belief."
Asked how the past week has been for him personally, Fonte added: "What can I say, I'm fine.
"It has been eventful obviously and what happened wasn't nice at the training ground, but I am man enough and I have moved on and I hope everyone can move on and focus on what is important which is Southampton, the club and winning games of football.
"There is no problem with me, I am fine, so I just want to keep playing."
Next up for Saints is a trip to struggling Fulham, which Fonte believes they should be approaching on the back of a win.
After Jose Fonte headed Saints in front during a dominant opening period, goals from Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla in quick succession turned the match on its head early in the second half.
Adam Lallana's strike ensured a point but, given Mathieu Flamini was sent off late on, the over-riding sensation was frustration.
"It was lively and it was hard because Arsenal are such a good team," Fonte said.
"They came at us in the second half and possibly we didn't defend very well but we have to give credit to them because they are one of the best teams in the world and they have great players.
"They forced their way in and scored two goals, but it was a great reaction from us after that."
There is frustration too at Arsenal, with the draw meaning they could be usurped at the top of the standings on Wednesday.
If that was not enough, Arsene Wenger confirmed after the match that Aaron Ramsey has suffered a setback in his recovery from injury.
"Aaron Ramsey is out for longer than we expected as he had a little setback yesterday in training so I couldn't bring him here," he said.
"It is the same muscle. He felt it a bit again so we have to be cautious this time."
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