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Page last updated at 11:35 GMT, Wednesday, 29 April 2009 12:35 UK

Southampton fall saddens Beattie

James Beattie
Beattie scored 76 goals in 233 appearances for Southampton

Former Southampton striker James Beattie has said that relegation from the Championship is "disastrous" for the club.

Saturday's draw with Burnley confirmed that the Saints will be playing League One football next season.

Beattie, who left St Mary's in 2005, told BBC Radio Stoke: "It's not long ago we were in the FA Cup final and finishing eighth in the Premier League.

"It's disastrous for them, something's gone badly wrong somewhere."

The South Coast club are also set to start next season with a 10-point penalty after their parent company went into administration, although they do plan to appeal against the punishment handed down by the Football League.

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"I just hope someone gets hold of the club and takes it forward, because it deserves to be in the Premier League," said Beattie.

After leaving Southampton, Beattie had spells with Everton and Sheffield United before joining Stoke City for £3.5m in January.

The 31-year-old has scored six goals in 12 games since arriving at the Britannia Stadium and has helped take the Potters to the brink of Premier League survival.

"It's important to settle in the dressing room, but the goals have helped me with the rest of the lads, and the fans," said Beattie.

The former Blackburn trainee missed Stoke's 1-0 defeat to Fulham on Saturday because of a thigh strain but is optimistic of being fit for this weekend's visit of Wets Ham United.

"I'll have to wait and see how it is later in the week," said Beattie.

"I've done two running sessions, and hopefully it'll progress and I'll be in with a shout for the weekend."

A win over the Hammers would take Stoke's tally to 42 points, all but guaranteeing their survival in their first season in the Premier League.

"We'll be pushing for as higher league position as we can get and think we'll get a couple more wins," added Beattie.



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