Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has commented on his side’s poor home form and the St Mary’s atmosphere ahead of Saints’ meeting with Everton this Saturday.
Just one point from five Premier League home games so far this season sees Saints with the worst home record in the top-flight currently and they will be looking to resolve that in the coming weeks.
The atmosphere at St Mary’s is also a regular talking point amongst the Saints fans after a few disappointing years, but Hasenhuttl seems to see what his team need to do to generate a reaction from their home crowd.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference yesterday, he said:
“First we must turn our start in home games because in all the games at home, we were in the back so far this season and this is something that doesn’t help your game and the crowd is then waiting for a positive start. It’s not only about the start, but finding the way to attack and that’s what we have worked on. Defend the same as the last two games against a strong side and we can defend deep. Sometimes we can press higher but we must be very committed and our principles follow. We don’t have to ask too much. We have to deliver and when we deliver we can be sure they (the home crowd) will help us, but first it’s about us to show up and show a reaction at home and we do everything to win this game.”
The pressure may be on, but it is important that Saints take their good work from facing Manchester City last week into their run of fixtures into mid-December.
They start with Everton at home this weekend and will see a side under-performing with significant weak points to exploit – if they can put in a cohesive display themselves.
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Key to Saints’ ability to trouble their opponents will be the returning and now fully fit Moussa Djenepo.
Excitement has not been plentiful from the opening games of the season but the Malian provided two of the most memorable moments so far with special goals against both Brighton and Sheffield United.
His introduction back into matches – especially at home – will be vital in helping Saints open up and be able to rely on their attacking play to create more.
Interestingly, tomorrow’s meeting sees the team worst home record in the Premier League (Saints) face the side with the joint-worst away record (Everton).
In many ways, this is just the game that Ralph Hasenhuttl would have wanted as he looks for his team to build on their solid display in Manchester last week.
Get the all important result and it could propel them on to a run that may well be their saviour come the end of the season.