Nathan Jones has provided a positive fitness update ahead of Southampton’s clash with Aston Villa at St Mary’s.

With the likes of Alex McCarthy and Theo Walcott nearing a return, the boss highlighted the need for squad depth ahead of a busy couple of weeks in both league and cup action, with squad rotation vital to picking up results.

“We’ve got one or two back from injury,” confirmed the boss. “So, we’re in a much stronger position this week than we were last week, so we’ll see.”

“It’s a big week coming up and we’re going to need the squad so whoever starts Saturday will have to affect the game on Saturday in terms of their role and then be ready for Tuesday, Saturday and Tuesday again.”

The boss also confirmed Southampton’s latest January acquisition Charly Alcaraz could make his first Premier League start against Aston Villa on Saturday.

Having come off the bench in Saints’ victory over Everton last time out in the league, the Argentinian has impressed in training this week.

"He's further than what he was last week,” admitted the boss. “Because obviously travelling the distance he did he didn’t really train.

“He’s had a wonderful week this week in terms of everything. Oršić is exactly the same, gathering momentum."