Hasenhüttl's praise for Howe

By SFC Media time Sat 27 Apr Saints v Bournemouth
Photo by Matt Watson | Ralph Hasenhüttl

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl has praised the job of his Bournemouth counterpart, Eddie Howe, ahead of their sides meeting at St Mary's this afternoon.

Saints welcome their south coast neighbours for a big Premier League game, in which the hosts have the potential to secure their top-flight status.

Standing in their way is a Cherries team that has, as Hasenhüttl described, enjoyed a "calm" season, with their brilliant start to the campaign ensuring that a more patchy second half was only a frustration rather than anything more serious.

it's about showing that we want to beat them, that we want to be better.

ralph hasenhüttl
on facing bournemouth

While only six of their past 25 Premier League games have ended in victory – compared to six in their opening ten – Howe's men are fresh from dishing out a 5-0 thrashing to Brighton in their most recent away match, and Hasenhüttl is wary of the threat they can pose.

"I think they showed they can score easily, also in away games, like against Brighton, which was a fantastic game," said the Southampton boss.

"They have been a little bit up and down I think in the second part of the season, but a very good first part, so they were always in a comfortable position, never really struggling or in the relegation zone.

"So they have had a very calm season with a good team, with a very good manager who makes a fantastic job.

"For us, it's about showing that we want to beat them, that we want to be better, to be more aggressive and show that we want to take this win."

Hasenhüttl has a couple of injury concerns heading into the game, and, with it being the team's third match in eight days, he has explained he plans to freshen things up.

"We have a few problems with a few injuries, but that is normal I think in this period," he said.

"We must be clear that we have a few fresh players in the game, because that is important for our aggressive style. If we want to press early then we need fresh players.

"We have a few options on the bench, a few players didn't play in the last game, so we can make a few changes.

"Yan Valery is fit again after his illness. Jannik Vestergaard is not, which is a pity. Ryan Bertrand has some problems with his ankle, and Stuie Armstrong some problems, but we have alternatives on the bench.

"They want to play and they want to show up, so I'm sure that we will have a good first XI."

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