Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl admits the club will need to have a rethink over how best to manage Sofiane Boufal’s recovery from a toe injury.
The Morocco winger suffered the problem when he stubbed his big toe on the kitchen table at home.
Boufal has been able to make substitute appearances, but Hasenhuttl wants the situation cleared up properly sooner rather than later.
“Sofiane is still not able to train without injections, there is still big pain in his toe and it takes time,” Hasenhuttl said.
“We always tried to make him fit for the games and it is not a perfect situation if you don’t train during the week, so we have a look how we improve this issue.”
Midfielder Stuart Armstrong should be in contention for Saturday’s Premier League match against West Ham, but defender Yan Valery continues to be laid low following a viral infection.
Southampton found themselves back in the bottom three following the 2-1 defeat at Newcastle, where they had been in front early in the second half through Danny Ings.
However, Hasenhuttl feels the upcoming games against the Irons and then Aston Villa – both clubs also battling at the wrong end of the table – provide another opportunity.
“In our situation, every game is very important,” Hasenhuttl said at a press conference broadcast on the Southampton website.
“We had a good run before the Newcastle game. We played there with a lot of self confidence but then the analysis of the game was really hurting because I think we could take more than no points.
“I think our performance is improving at the moment. We are playing much better than in the weeks before.
“The two good results in the home games (against Watford and Norwich) helped us massively and now we have another home game.
“The self confidence at home is also coming back, but we know that West Ham is a very difficult opponent to play against.
“We should stay on our track, stay on the way we want to play football. If we do this, we have a chance to win at home.”
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