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Ralph Hasenhuttl calls for honesty among Southampton squad after slow start

Southampton v Brentford – Carabao Cup – Second Round – St Mary’s Stadium
(Image credit: Adam Davy)

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl hopes honesty can prove the best policy to kickstart his side’s Premier League campaign.

The Saints have lost all three matches so far this season, with a 5-2 home defeat by Tottenham following an early exit in the Carabao Cup against Sky Bet Championship side Brentford.

After impressing when the previous top-flight campaign resumed in June, a seven-match unbeaten run helping Southampton finish 11th, expectation of a positive season ahead had increased.

Hasenhuttl, though, maintains he has seen enough within the displays so far to look forward to improved results, starting at Burnley on Saturday.

“I think the end of last season seemed (as if it was) furthering our development, but now, after the break, we are absolutely not on the same level at the moment,” the Southampton manager said.

“We must also be honest about what we haven’t done well. That is the only way to make it better.

“If you think you have done everything all right and we lose 5-2, then something is not right.

“So yes, we must be critical, but we must also see that we had some moments of the (Tottenham) game where we definitely played well.

“We scored a good goal, which was important for Ingsy (Danny Ings) and also Che (Adams) had some chances where we really played fantastic to create those chances.

“Every time we play quick and direct and we are strong, the outstanding stuff – that was a big topic that I’ve talked about.

“But it was too easy how we conceded the goals, so there are a few things we have to work on.

“This is what we have to do better, and then we will have a bigger chance to take something (at Burnley).”

Hasenhuttl expects to complete some business in both directions before the transfer window closes on October 5.

Southampton have been linked with Everton midfielder Tom Davies, potentially on a loan deal.

“I know we will get players in,” Hasenhuttl said. “Now comes the moment where some good opportunities are coming up.

“Our number-one choice, it may not be so easy to get now, but there are some other alternatives coming to us, loan or permanent.

“I think we know we need one or two players minimum, maybe three.”

Dutch defender Wesley Hoedt is expected to head back to former club Lazio in a loan switch, while Sofiane Boufal and goalkeeper Angus Gunn could also depart to gain more first-team opportunities.

“So far, nothing is finalised, so it is too early to speak about,” Hasenhuttl said regarding Hoedt, “but he is one player who will leave our club.”

Saints will again be without Nathan Redmond for Saturday’s evening kick-off at Burnley as the winger recovers from an ankle problem.