Hasenhüttl hoping to showcase development


Ralph Hasenhüttl is hoping Southampton can showcase the extent of their development when they face Liverpool, as the Premier League champions come to St Mary's on Monday night.

Saints have lost only twice in their past 14 matches and are enjoying an excellent season, but they will be up against a Reds team that is once again setting the pace at the top of the standings.

It was back in February when the teams last met, as Hasenhüttl's side produced an impressive first 45 minutes at Anfield, only for the hosts to accelerate away from them in the second half, as they eventually won 4-0.

The Southampton manager believes his side has improved since then, and he is hoping the players can show that on Monday.

"Since I have been here, I think this is the last team we haven't taken any points against so far," said Hasenhüttl. "They are very strong and, with their game, I think we have to have very good game management.

"I think we are a little bit further in our development than the last game, when we lost 4-0. We know that 45 minutes playing well is not enough, we must be prepared for a battle for 90 minutes.

"To have a clean sheet against them is not easy, but we have had two in a row now, and this is the goal, to keep it as long as possible and open the game, and maybe we can also go in the lead. This is what we will try."

As well as the back-to-back clean sheets, against Fulham and West Ham, Saints have conceded only twice across their past five matches, and Hasenhüttl is hoping for another strong defensive showing, as well as some positive attacking intent, against the Premier League's top scorers.

"It's always important for the whole season," he said. "We have conceded 19 goals so far this season, which is a very good average I must say. One game against Tottenham was five goals, and the rest I think was absolutely ok.

"We know about our defending work we have to do, but we also have to be calm on the ball. We know there is more intense pressing this time I think, but even then you must have a good game management with the ball.

"I think we are on step further in our development, and this is what we want to show."