Without a win at St James’ Park since 2015, manager Ralph Hasenhüttl is looking for Southampton’s newfound momentum to conclude a positive week of results at Newcastle this weekend.
Getting off the mark in the Premier League with an impassive draw against Manchester United last weekend, Saints backed up their first point of the campaign with a record-breaking 8-0 win at Newport County in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.
Now preparing for the final match before the international break, Hasenhüttl is targeting a change in fortunes in the north-east.
“After the last two games to go to Newcastle where our history is not really the biggest one, to show up there and change this is a big goal for us.
“After the first game when we lost against Everton we have shown a different face and this is also what we need to show against Newcastle.
“It’s a tough game like every year. We haven’t played our best games there and we need to play a good one or we cannot take something there. I’m looking forward to turning things around at this ground.”
Having named identical starting line-ups for Southampton’s opening two Premier League outings, Hasenhüttl made nine changes for the midweek cup encounter in Wales.
With a number of impressive displays – notably Mohamed Elyounoussi’s hat-trick and Armando Broja’s brace on his debut – the boss now has a decision to make regarding selection on Saturday.
“They have shown that they are more than an alternative, which is always good. In the end it depends on what we need, what qualities we need in what positions and this is what I told them today.
“It’s important everyone knows the roles they have to play in this team. It can be margins that decide him or another one, but they still need to be focused and try to show up and be hard working as we need everyone here.
“It can be for tactical reasons why we change things and if this happens, they still needs to go on.”