Maya Yoshida admits it was a frustrating time for both Southampton and his home nation Japan last season. The Saints brought in Mauricio Pellegrino as their new manager last summer but he only lasted until March 2018, with the club sacking him following a poor run of results that left the team in real danger of relegation.
Former Stoke City and Manchester City boss Mark Hughes signed a short-term contract until the end of the season to take charge and he managed to keep the south-coast outfit in the Premier League.
The Welsh tactician has since been appointed on a three-year deal and Japan international Yoshida, who played for his country at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, has been talking about how hard life was in the previous campaign.
“We survived, the players had a difficult time and I wanted to share my feelings in both English and Japanese,” he said. “The frustrations with Southampton and the Japanese team are really similar and we both struggled a lot through the season and qualification for the World Cup.
“We struggled a lot last season especially the second half of the season. We dropped so many points, we had so many issues about the transfer market and we had new managers.
“Every week, I play against good players, that experience helps the national team as well. I enjoy myself every season, but I think it’s the toughest league in the world.”