We must be brave in relegation fight, says Hasenhuttl

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has challenged his side to be brave in their battle to stay in the Premier League.

The Saints find themselves back in the bottom three for the visit of out-of-form West Ham after last weekend’s 2-1 loss at Newcastle.

Hasenhuttl’s men failed to make the most of their chances on Tyneside after going ahead early in the first half, but their previous performances since the international break have been impressive.

The Austrian is confident the players can deliver again after a draw at Arsenal was followed by home wins over struggling Watford and Norwich.

“We analysed the behaviour of being in the lead (at Newcastle),” Hasenhuttl, who should have midfielder Stuart Armstrong in contention again following a hamstring problem, told a press conference.

“We had not played that brave before, and also not that brave after the equaliser, so that was a completely different game.

“We should stay on our track, also if you are in the lead.

“We had taken seven points and had a lot of self-confidence, but then you must play differently than we did it after being in the lead at Newcastle and this was the big topic in the week.

“We must make this step in our game development and then we don’t give points away when we are in the lead.

“We must focus on our way that we want to play, on our philosophy.

“The intensity of the game must be a high one in our stadium. If we are in a good mode at our own ground, then we have shown in the last two games that we can win.”

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has found his own position under scrutiny after just one win from the last 10 Premier League games.

Defeat at Southampton could see the Irons drop into the relegation zone.

Hasenhuttl, though, has enough concerns of his own to start worrying about West Ham’s troubles.

“I see him as a fantastic manager, we have played twice and he has won twice against me,” the Saints boss said.

“We all have periods where things don’t go in the direction you we want them to go, but always have to handle these issues.

“I don’t have to tell him what he has to do because he’s a very experienced guy. I think all the managers in Premier Leagu, do a fantastic job.

“They invest a lot of time and energy to make the team better and it’s always difficult to win games in the Premier League.

“So you can come into a spell that is not very positive, but it is better for us to concentrate on our game and our own issues we have – and this is enough.”