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Ralph Hasenhuttl up for the cup as Saints strive to get back to winning ways

Crystal Palace v Southampton – Premier League – Selhurst Park
(Image credit: Andy Rain)

Ralph Hasenhuttl says Southampton must use the Carabao Cup to rediscover their style of play after beginning the new Premier League season with a disappointing defeat.

Saints welcome second-tier Brentford to St Mary’s on Wednesday evening seeking to bounce back from Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Crystal Palace.

Manager Hasenhuttl admits his team were well below their best at Selhurst Park.

After a shortened pre-season, the Austrian wants as many fixtures as possible to give his team opportunities to gel and return to the impressive form shown in the second half of the 2019-20 campaign.

“I think it’s good for us to have every game (available),” said Hasenhuttl.

“We had a very difficult pre-season, not a chance to work with the whole team on our automatisms, so we should use this game to get back to winning ways and get back to the way we want to play.

“We are a little bit far away from it, this (game) is something of a chance maybe to use it to get that back.

“We want to get through to the next round. The players need the games.”

Southampton have not faced the Bees since their 3-0 League One success at Griffin Park in April 2011.

Hasenhuttl planned to assess his squad following the Palace game before deciding how many personnel changes to make against last season’s Sky Bet Championship play-off finalists.

Former England goalkeeper Fraser Forster, who is back on the south coast following a loan spell with Celtic, could make his first Saints appearance in more than 16 months.

Hasenhuttl wants his players to be more ruthless at the other end of the pitch after firing a blank at the weekend.

“It’s never one part, it’s always a mixture of reasons why it happens,” he said of failing to find the net.

“We faced an opponent that defends well, but it was also us not finding the right tools. I think when we played, we always had the chances to score.

“The final finish wasn’t clinical enough. We had chances to score, definitely more than the opponent. But in the end, football sometimes is not showing the result when you tried your best.”

Saints midfielder Stuart Armstrong remains unavailable due to a thigh injury picked up on international duty with Scotland.