|Aston Villa 3 v 4 Southampton|
Barclays Premier League
Sunday, 1st November 2020 Kick-off 12:00
Hasenhuttl Speaks Ahead Of Trip To Villa Park
Saturday, 31st Oct 2020 09:14
Ralph Hasenhuttl has given his usual press conference two days ahead of the weekend's game, see what he has said here including injury news and his thoughts on his squad.
The big question Saints fans have at the moment is when will they get a sight of Mohammed Salisu, it won't be this weekend with Ralph confirming that although he along with other injured squad members Moussa Djenepo and Will Smallbone have trained this week, they are not quite ready for consideration for the game on Sunday.
One player who is back though is Theo Walcott who had to sit out the win over Everton as he was not allowed to play against is parent club, this is what the Austrian manager had to say.
“We are happy to hear he likes it here and that he enjoys what we are doing here. I think it is the same as I see on the pitch, you get a feeling of how happy a player is to be here.
“I’m happy he is available again at the weekend and it is important that he comes into the team and learns quickly from the new stuff we try to implement. Lets see how he can show how he helps us and I’m very sure he will.”
Ralph has also been impressed by Oriol Romeu, not just this season but after his return in the restart. Some Saints fans on social media have said how the arrival of Ibrahima Diallo will give Romeu competition, but Ralph doesn't agree.
“I don’t think he needs this pressure from another number 6 because at the end of last season when Pierre was still here, he deserved to play because he came back from lockdown fitter, was very sharp and tried to show up.
“That’s why he grabbed his chances with both hands and then there was no reason to sub him anymore. It’s the reason Pierre was on the bench because Romeu was simply better.”
In an article earlier this week I spoke of Nathan Redmond and his importance to the team , not just in creating and scoring goals, but in the work he does by linking up with Ryan Bertrand, it seems that the manager agrees with my comments and sees that partnership as vital.
When asked about Nathan Redmond's contribution to the team he had this to say.
“I think especially in our shape because of the 442 you can speak about couples everywhere. Most of the time, players think that he will support me because he is closest to me and yeh it is a good relationship.
“It’s definitely not a bad thing to have a good relationship with the guy in front of you. It’s not 100% necessary but it helps.
“We see in other positions like on the right side with Stuart Armstrong and Kyle Walker-Peters then Ingsy and Che up front and Prowsey and Oriol in the middle, we have these couples.
“Maybe there is more communication between the two guys you mentioned than the rest of the team and this is good as they know each other very well.”
Another partnership that Ralph is impressed with has been the one in the centre of defence where after an appalling start we have kept three clean sheets in the last four games.
"Yes this is always good. To be honest this is the key of winning and getting points if you keep clean sheets. There are different ways to do it."
“In the last game especially we had very good game management also in possession so it’s not just about defending but in this moment we have a good mixture of when we have the ball not taking too much risk but also letting the opponent run when necessary.
“This is a new quality I think which we have developed in the last three or four months. We can still get better and in the end a combination of everything leads to a clean sheet and scoring when we can.”
Ralph is also convinced that the team now has a belief and confidence now and that this is crucial in the way we not only approach games but in the way we have taken points from them.
“The belief also as you saw against Chelsea when we were twice behind and fight back because we believe it what we are doing. We are convinced that this is how to be successful"
“There’s more details about game plan, behaviours with or without the ball, finding solutions and this is the focus for every week. Our whole concentration goes on this part. In general this is a better way to think they whether our opponent thinks we are strong or not.”
So Saints travel to Aston Villa with confidence and by the look of it, he won't be making many changes to the starting line up and that Theo Walcott will be the only addition to the bench, probably at the expense of Nathan Tell or Dan N'Lundulu.
This will give us a little more options than we had against Everton and in all areas.
Photo: Action Images
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