Southampton have the chance to move up to fifth in the Premier League with a win against Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium Monday night.
The Saints have only lost once in their last eight games in the top flight, picking up 17 points. Southampton will look to bounce back from their defeat to Manchester United last weekend.
On the Brighton challenge
Ralph Hasenhuttl will expect a tough encounter against struggling opposition, Brighton. Southampton in the past few seasons have failed to beat teams struggling for points; Hasenhuttl will aim to not encounter another banana skin.
“Brighton are really tough opponents to play against, always tough to go there and win games. They do a really good job there”
Assessment on the season so far
Hasenhuttl’s men experienced how it felt to be leaders of the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history, albeit only for a couple of days. Southampton have executed Hasenhuttl’s system to a tee this season, with the team reaping the rewards by meeting the manager’s high demands. However, Hasenhuttl has stated not to get carried away just yet with the majority of the season still left to play.
“I always say when we have played once against every team, we can see how strong our team is. It is not so interesting to look on the table, it is more interesting to look on your game and see what works and what does not.”
Hasenhuttl on fans back in stadiums
2000 Brighton fans are due to return for the first time since March. Hopefully, the beginning of a gradual process to have stadiums back to full capacity.
“I am glad that I do not have to make these decisions. We are still in a critical situation all over Europe. I accept every step that they take to keep the infection numbers down”
The potential return of Southampton’s talisman, Danny Ings
Southampton’s top scorer, Danny Ings could potentially be in contention again after being on the sidelines for a month. Ings has been integral to Hasenhuttl’s side scoring 22 goals in the League last season, often pulling a goal out of nowhere to gain crucial points for his side. Ings will look to add to his five goals on his return on Monday.
“We must have a look, yesterday was the first time training with the team. He looks good.”
Hasenhuttl further responded about contract negotiations with Ings, with the English international’s contract set to conclude at the end of next season.
“We will only sell him if there is an offer we cannot deny but I do not see this, as he is not 22 years old and I think top clubs could take him as an alternative but this is not what Ings wants to do. I am positive that he will stay with us, he knows how much we want him, he is comfortable with us and enjoys playing with us.”
Hasenhuttl on contracts
There are a few key players’ contracts that are coming towards the end and Hasenhuttl would like them to put pen to paper on new deals. Ings and Bertrand are instrumental to the side; Hasenhuttl has expressed how important it is that they commit their future to the club.
“We know that we have our limits as a club, we know we can be successful if we have a good core. We have a few more players that we want to sign, it is not a surprise we want to sign Ingsy also.”