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Saints have the appetite to fight for survival, says Hasenhuttl

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl feels his side remain “very hungry” as they hunt down the points needed to secure Premier League survival.

The Saints have delivered four wins from their past six matches to move within touching distance of safety.

However, following Cardiff’s midweek victory over fellow relegation-battlers Brighton, Hasenhuttl knows there is still more work to be done.

“For sure we need more than 36 points,” Hasenhuttl said as he prepared the squad for Saturday’s trip to Newcastle.

“We are five points clear of Cardiff, three points clear of Brighton. But you see the result on Tuesday shows nobody gives up, there is no knockout for Cardiff, they are still alive.

“I expect them to fight very hard until the end. We have to do the same, and I can guarantee we will do.

“We have been speaking about the 40 points and therefore we need four more.”

Hasenhuttl added at a press conference reported by the club: “The good thing is I don’t have the feeling my team is leaning back, they stay focused.

“Although it is a long season so far, I have a feeling they are very hungry, they want to hunt and take more points. That is a good signal for me.

“If you feel how nice it is to win games, then you get motivated more often, and that is what I can feel at the moment.”

Hasenhuttl has transformed Saints’ fortunes since his appointment in early December.

The Austrian believes plans are in place to make sure the departure of chairman Ralph Krueger, who played a key role in bringing him to Southampton, does not impact on the overall goals of retaining Premier League status.

“There may be a few things that will change, but the owners and the responsible guys in the club will find the right decisions in that moment,” Hasenhuttl said.

“For us it’s important that we can take the decisions we have to take in the next weeks. That is important and we can do this.

“It’s important that if the transfer period starts that we know exactly who has the responsibility for every part of this job.”

While it remains to be seen what division the Saints will be playing in again next season, Hasenhuttl expects summer recruitment policy to continue to have an eye on the future.

“Something like diamonds, we have to polish them and make them shine if they’re coming here,” he said.

“We have a very good atmosphere and a very good club that is famous for developing players and if we are the next step in their development then he’s welcome, because he helps us with his quality.

“And if he becomes a very, very good player and goes somewhere else, then we have to accept this, but he helped us a lot and I think that’s the way we want to go.

“That’s the Southampton way and I can guarantee that we will keep going along this track.”