Ralph Hasenhuttl wants Saints to rediscover rhythm over hectic October schedule

Aston Villa v Southampton – Premier League – Villa Park
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Ralph Hasenhuttl is looking forward to Southampton’s busy October schedule and believes it will help his side rediscover their rhythm.

The Saints only played twice in September – against Wolves and Aston Villa – due to their fixture with Brentford being postponed after the death of the Queen, and the international break.

Southampton have not played since the 1-0 loss at Villa Park a fortnight ago but host Everton on Saturday in the first of nine matches during the next six weeks.

Hasenhuttl told reporters: “I sometimes speak about the car. You put it in the garage and two weeks later you bring it out and you can drive 300(mph) if you want but in football it is not like this.

“It is always a team that needs to work, to fight together and find the rhythm.

“In the last weeks we didn’t really have a lot of chance for rhythm because of the international break and the special situation with the death of the Queen, so we had some delays.

“This is the reason why we are now looking forward to a very intense time with a lot of games coming up and hopefully we can get on a successful run.”

While Saints enter this fixture on a two-match losing streak, they have performed strongly at St Mary’s this campaign: drawing with Leeds, pushing Manchester United close and beating Chelsea last time out.

The 2-1 win over Chelsea did occur a month ago, on August 30, though.

“It is nice to have (in the memory) but meanwhile we have lost two games since then and we have some players out with injuries like Romeo (Lavia) for example,” Hasenhuttl admitted.

“We have to now find other solutions and other ways to be successful again, so this is too long ago in football.

“Even the last game is two weeks ago and in two weeks things are changing massively in football. Players are in different shape or different levels in their performances because they are coming from the internationals where they had good moments there or not.

“When you perform well two weeks ago, it doesn’t help you to win the game on the weekend.”

Southampton are one position below Frank Lampard’s Everton in the table in 14th place and it was put to Hasenhuttl that a third consecutive defeat could increase the pressure and scrutiny on his own role.

But the long-serving Saints boss insisted: “I would say no, I am not under pressure. Not more than every other day when I work with my team.

“I explained it last week that the biggest pressure I feel on me is the pressure I put on myself to do a good job here every day and deliver the players the best possible work. This is the pressure I feel and I put on myself. If you want to make a good job, the most pressure should come from yourself.”

Lavia (hamstring) and Tino Livramento (knee) remain sidelined for Saints.

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