Claude Puel says Southampton face two very important fixtures, as they take on both West Bromwich Albion and Everton over New Year’s weekend.
Saints currently sit eighth in the table, with Everton a place above them and West Brom a place behind, as the Premier League reaches the midway point.
And Puel has highlighted the importance of the two fixtures, as they look to keep in touch with the top six in the table.
“We go to play two opponents in two important games – West Bromwich and Everton,” he told reporters ahead of Saturday’s game at St Mary’s against the Baggies.
“They play at the same place, around the same place as Southampton and it’s interesting to see our ambitions about this team, of course.
“For the moment the first six teams are very great and with important players, strong players and for the moment it’s a little difficult to play against them.
“After there are different possibilities for Southampton, West Bromwich, Everton and other teams like West Ham, who come back very well.
“For the moment it’s important to keep our position on the table and continue to make progress. After we will see if you can do other things.
“For now we know the next two games are very important.”