Wolves will provide as tough a test as Liverpool – Southampton boss Hasenhuttl
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has warned Wolves will provide just as tough a test in their Premier League survival battle as title challengers Liverpool.
The Saints put some daylight between themselves and the bottom three after successive wins over Tottenham and then at Brighton before being beaten 3-1 at home by the Reds.
Wolves will be out to put the disappointment of their FA Cup semi-final extra-time defeat against Watford behind them by continuing their push for a top-seven finish.
It has been a remarkable campaign for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, who have continued upward momentum following promotion from the Championship.
Hasenhuttl knows it will take another impressive display from his team to continue the fight to keep clear of the relegation zone.
“It’s a very strong opponent, one of the best organised teams in the league. They have made a fantastic job this year, beating a lot of big teams also,” the Southampton boss said.
“They play in a similar shape to what we do and it will be a very interesting game, tactically for us, so not an easy game.
“They showed that they have a clear plan, also good players, they can fill the plan with life.
“The whole way they want to play is a very successful one at the moment. It is not a coincidence that they are so high in the table.”
Hasenhuttl said at a press conference reported by the club: “We know that is not easier than maybe the last games were for us.
“It was very tough against Liverpool, it was against Tottenham very tough at home, but for me, Wolves is not easier.”
Forward Danny Ings is available again having not been eligible to face his parent club last weekend.
Hasenhuttl said: “Ingsy is always itching to go, he is always with energy and he trains very hard. He wants to come back into the team and to score again.”
Despite Saints not yet being certain to be in the Premier League again next season, Hasenhuttl accepts planning has to start.
“We have to have the right decisions when we have the chance to take them and therefore we are working also and having a look at new players,” the Austrian said.
“The sooner we are safe the better it is, that is for sure.”
Southampton have been touted with a summer move for Birmingham forward Che Adams.
“I don’t want to discuss any personality,” Hasenhuttl said. “We were linked with him in the winter transfer period also.
“We have eyes on a few young players who fit in our shape or our philosophy and what I can guarantee (is), we are mainly looking for younger players. First, we have to be safe.”
Asked whether Adams, 22, was likely to one of the names on a long list of potential transfer targets, the Southampton manager replied: “Yes.”