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Hasenhuttl wants switched-on Saints at Arsenal

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has challenged his players to be brave and make a fast start at Arsenal.

The Saints head to the Emirates Stadium having picked up just one point from the past seven Premier League games.

Hasenhuttl hopes the international break will have given the squad some time for reflection as they look to recapture their early-season promise.

Southampton found themselves 2-0 down inside the opening 20 minutes the last time they went to Arsenal during February.

Hasenhuttl wants full focus from kick-off as his team look to produce a positive result against a Gunners’ side struggling for their own consistency.

“A fast start always helps against every opponent, because then you feel more comfortable,” the Southampton manager said.

“We had a good start against Manchester City and then you saw how difficult it was against us to turn the table for them. We were only a few minutes from taking something there.

“We know in away games we can start fast and score, then we are not easy to beat.”

Hasenhuttl added: “Especially against big opponents, you have nothing to lose.

“If you go in the game and be brave, believe in yourself, then you have a big chance to get something and this is what we have to do to at the weekend.”

The Gunners have not won in the Premier League since the start of October.

A 2-0 defeat at Leicester before the international break saw the pressure continue to mount on head coach Unai Emery.

Hasenhuttl, though, is not expecting an easy ride at the Emirates Stadium.

“They are a team which is also struggling a bit and has lost some games, but at home they are strong,” the Southampton manager said at a press conference.

“Last season we played a good second half. The first half wasn’t too good. We must start better than last time, because we really gave them own goals with two mistakes.

“We must do it better anyway and then we have a chance to take something.”

Following the Arsenal game, Southampton will host fellow strugglers Watford and then Norwich.

However, Hasenhuttl is not putting any more focus on either of those two opponents.

“Every game is difficult,” the Austrian said. “To play against the top teams or against the bottom teams, this doesn’t make some big difference because the Premier League is always tight.

“We must bring these tight games onto our side. There are always a few moments in the game where you must be very, very straight.

“In the last game (against Everton), we had the chance to turn the tables and then they got the second goal.

“We must believe in ourselves – we know that we have a chance to take something in every game and we must grab it with both hands.”